The Ghaziabad district magistrate on Monday gave instructions to the district supplies office and ration card dealers to immediately stop the issuance of ration cards which bears a photograph of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and also the Samajwadi Party flag colours of red and green.
The officials took cognizance of complaints that the new cards were issued to residents in some areas. District magistrate (DM) Nidhi Kesarwani said no such item will be distributed till the election process is over.
“We have received directions about the issue a day ago and we immediately stopped the delivery of such cards. We will also action against ration card dealers if they are found issuing new cards. It could be possible that ration card dealers may be issuing cards as the residents may not have approached them earlier. The district supplies officials have been instructed to check and comply,” the DM said.
As per the Election Commission guidelines, under the election code of conduct (ECC), announcement of new projects, programmes or concessions or financial grants in any form or promises thereof, or, laying of foundation stones etc, which have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power, is prohibited.
According to an official estimate, Ghaziabad has 4.02 lakh ration card holders and nearly 1.82 lakh new ration cards have been distributed till date in the district. The district supplies officials said the preparation of the new ration card also was delayed.
“The delivery of new ration cards was delayed by 6-7 months due to delay in printing. But, we got them issued till December 31. If any new cards are being distributed, they must be revised cards — those having a change of name or date of birth, etc. We have stopped the delivery of new cards and the same will be done only after elections. Ration card dealers have been instructed to comply,” said DN Srivastava, district supplies officer, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
He added that Gautam Budh Nagar has nearly 2 lakh ration card holders and nearly 1.82 lakh cards were already distributed.
Apart from ration cards, the officials were also instructed to immediately stop the distribution of schoolbags bearing a photograph of UP CM and also utensils for midday meals. The free laptop distribution under one of Samajwadi Party’s scheme was also stopped.
“The distribution of utensils, schoolbags and laptops has been stopped,” Kesarwani said.