‘Poster squads’ of the State Election Commission will perform the tedious task of removing illegal posters and preventing the defacing of walls in the city during campaigning for the municipal elections.
For the first time, the commission will invoke the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 2007, under which 12 poster removal squads will be set up in all 12 zones.
Returning officers will be in-charge of the squads and will lodge complaints with the police.
Candidates will have to be careful about how they spend campaigning money.Advertisements and paid news in print and electronic media will also be calculated as part of election expenses, which have been restricted to Rs 4 lakh per candidate.
If any candidate is found defacing walls and pasting posters on illegal sites, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi will get an FIR registered against the person.
Election commissioner Rakesh Mehta said he was trying to stop the use of “money, liquor and muscle power” in the elections by banning liquor from 5.30pm for 48hours on April 13 — two days before MCD polls.
“We are taking defacement of public property very seriously and offenders can be prosecuted. Every poster removal squad will have five trucks, labour, ladders and other equipment,” Mehta said.
He said that he had held a meeting of all deputy commissioners of police and deputy commissioners of MCD on Thursday to discuss the effective implementation of the code of conduct and defacement act.
The commission said candidates would have to take permission for campaigning on cable TV and mention the date of telecast and duration of the campaign to the SDM.
Rickshaws won’t go unaccounted
For These elections, candidates may want to steer clear of using cycle rickshaws for campaigning and instead opt for bicycles.
The State Election Commission has said that three-wheeler cycle rickshaws will be treated as a ‘vehicle’ and its use will be accounted for.
If it is used, then a candidate has to account for its expenditure in his account of election expenses: reads the instructions released by the commission on the ‘model code of conduct’.
Use of rickshaws for ordinary travelling purposes will, however, be allowed.
The modest bicycle will however be spared from being included as there is no need for its registration. The commission will allow three vehicles per contestant for use during campaigning.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections will be held on April 15.