ECI issues notice to BJD over use of party symbol in government advertisements - Hindustan Times
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ECI issues notice to BJD over use of party symbol in government advertisements

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Feb 29, 2024 01:30 PM IST

According to ECI, it has received complaints that the party’s electoral symbol was being displayed and promoted through various government-sponsored advertisements in leading Odia newspapers, TV channels, state transport buses, and hoardings in different cities

Bhubaneshwar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a notice to the Odisha government and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over the alleged use of the party symbol in advertisements using public funds, officials aware of the matter said on Wednesday.

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

The election commission has asked the chief secretary of Odisha and the BJD’s general secretary to file responses by Saturday (March 2) over the use of the party’s “conch” symbol in state government advertisements, said officials.

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The ECI noted that the activity violates its instructions dated October 7, 2016, which state, “The commission is of the view that utilising public funds/public places for promoting any political party or propagating its election symbol would be antithetical to the concept of a free and fair election and the principle of a level playing field for all stakeholders,” the notice reads.

“Accordingly, the commission has directed that no political party shall henceforth either use or allow the use of any public funds, public place, or government machinery for carrying out any activity that would amount to an advertisement for the party or propagating the election symbol allotted to the party,” it further reads.

According to ECI, it has received complaints that the party’s electoral symbol was being displayed and promoted through various government-sponsored advertisements in leading Odia newspapers, TV channels, state transport buses, and hoardings in different cities.

A Bharatiya Janata Party leader in January moved the Delhi high court seeking action against the BJD and the Odisha government for using its party symbol ‘conch’ while promoting the government’s welfare schemes in advertisements.

BJD leaders did not comment on the ECI notice.

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