After turning a blind eye to the illegal election-related hoardings that have come up in the city, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has finally issued orders for their removal. These illegal political hoardings put up in various parts of the city violate the model code of conduct, which is currently in place for the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.
"We have issued clear-cut directions that violation of the model code will not be tolerated. The MCD commissioner has been asked to ensure that all illegal hoardings, irrespective of the political parties that had installed them, are removed," said MCD Standing Committee chairman Vijendra Gupta.
A meeting of the Committee on Friday witnessed uproar when Congress councillors alleged that the BJP had put up hoardings all over the city, including Corporation properties, in violation of the model code. Shouting slogans like "V.K. Malhotra ke hoarding hatao (remove VK Malhotra's hoardings)" and "BJP hai hai (down with BJP)", they demanded that all illegal signboards be removed soon.
"The BJP-led MCD has been ignoring all the illegal hoardings and posters that have come up in the city. They should have taken action against those put them up," said Jai Kishan Sharma, leader of the opposition in MCD.
BJP, however, said Congress was politicising the issue. "The commissioner has been asked to take action and submit a report at the next meeting of the committee," added Gupta. The civic agency's Remunerative Project Cell, which is responsible for removing the hoardings, has been facing acute shortage of staff. They have around nine field inspectors to do the job of removing hoardings in 12 zones. This, too, has affected the drive for removing hoardings in the city.
Poll officer for strict action
Chief electoral officer of Delhi, Satbir Silas Bedi, has called for strict action against people violating the model code of conduct and defacing and damaging public property.
In a meeting held with Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna late on Thursday evening, Bedi pointed out that the cases registered against unknown persons served no purpose and the people defacing public property managed to get away without any punishment.
According to senior election officers, Delhi Police have so far registered 413 cases against people defacing property by sticking posters or putting up banners.