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Uttarakhand civic polls candidates ‘flouting norms’ on sourcing campaign material

As per the rules, candidates are required to source such materials locally and mention names of printers. The scenario, however, is quite different for many candidates contesting civic polls in Uttarakhand.

dehradun Updated: Oct 31, 2018 15:40 IST
Nitika Kakkar
Nitika Kakkar
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
uttarakhand civic polls,uttarakhand,dehradun
Along with Dehradun, 84 urban local bodies in Uttarakhand go to the polls on November 18.(HT File / Representative Photo )

People contesting the civic polls in Uttarakhand are allegedly flouting election commission rules for sourcing campaign materials like stickers, badges and pamphlets. As per the rules, candidates are required to source such materials locally and mention names of printers. The scenario, however, is quite different.

Many vendors from western Uttar Pradesh have set up their one-stop shop of all kinds of campaign material in the state capital Dehradun.

“We design and print most of election materials in Dehradun for independent candidates. For the BJP and Congress, we get the material from outside,” said Alam, a vendor from Muzaffarnagar who has opened a shop in the city’s Tehsil area.

“Candidates of these parties generally demand material in bulk. There are factories in Delhi and Haryana which print flags and other campaign materials. We get them from there,” said Alam.

A vendor from Deoband, on condition of anonymity, said: “Often candidates request us to not print name of printing agency on stickers or not to issue a bill against the purchase. They don’t show it in their expenses submitted to returning officer to stay within the prescribed expenditure limit.”

Prabhat Kumar Singh, deputy election commissioner of Uttarakhand, said: “If a candidate gets stickers, badges, pamphlets and other such campaign materials printed, it should carry name of the printer on each item. Secondly, such materials should be printed and procured locally.”

“In case any candidate is getting such material from outside the city, he must first take permission from the returning officer. Details of transporting the material must also be disclosed.

“In hill areas such as Chamoli there are not enough printers who can provide the materials, so they can get it from other places after taking permission,” Singh said.

When contacted, BJP state unit general secretary Naresh Bansal said, “To a certain extent, we provide campaign material, the candidates get the rest printed by themselves. We either get the material printed locally or if we get a cheaper option, we get it printed from outside and distribute here.”

Congress state unit vice president Suryakant Dhasmana said all campaign materials were sourced locally by party candidates.

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 15:40 IST