Chief election commissioner VS Sampath on Sunday ordered withdrawal of carry bags bearing pictures of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which were being distributed cost free at the government-run PDS ration depots in election-bound Himachal Pradesh.
It was in August that Himachal chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had announced to distribute carry bags free of cost along with essential foodgrains being provided under the public distribution system (PDS). The state’s food and civil supplies department had printed 16 lakh bags carrying Vajpayee’s photo, and the distribution began on August 15.
Sampath’s order came following complaints from Congress representatives when the EC team was in Shimla to review arrangement for polls. Representatives from the BJP, Congress, BSP and CPM were present at the meeting convened by the commission. Sampath asked chief secretary Sudripto Roy to withdraw the carry bags with immediate effect.
Sampath salso noted that there was a complaint from parties regarding one-sided reporting from Doordarshan, Shimla. He said instructions have been given to the information and broadcasting ministry to ensure impartial working of the Doordarshan Kendra.
The CEC said the commission will also look into the complaint about the ongoing recruitment process in Himachal Pradesh University and if required, necessary action will be initiated after examining the situation.
EC removes Kullu DC, Baddi SP
Meanwhile, the election commission on Sunday removed Kullu DC Amitabh Awasthi and Baddi SP Gurdev Singh with immediate effect. The EC action came after complaints regrading posting of the officers.