With all prime hoarding locations in the city sold out to the state’s ruling family for the Lok Sabha campaign of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, there is hardly a prominent site left for the Election Commission (EC) to put up its voter-awareness banners.
The municipal corporation can’t help, as the private advertising agencies to which the spots were auctioned passed these on to the Akali-BJP combine for its candidate’s canvassing.
Billboards of Harsimrat Kaur, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have covered all city. The EC is forced to install its 4,000 small and 100 giant hoardings atop government buildings, electricity poles and other odd and unsafe points along the roads.
Cheap locations have diminished the value of the EC messages. It seems what matters is only what the Badals wanted to convey. “The MC has auctioned its advertisement space already. Government buildings and electricity poles are the only spots left for us to attract voters from,” said additional deputy commissioner (development) Sonali Giri, adding: “We could have used the MC prime locations, if these were free.”