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EC turns down AAP government request to run ads for summer camps

The AAP government wrote to the Election Commission on Tuesday again, requesting it to reconsider the decision.

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2019 11:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi govt,AAP govt,election commission
Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia said he was disappointed at the Election Commission’s order. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said the Election Commission of India has turned down the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) request to release advertisements about summer camps in government schools citing model code of conduct.

The AAP government wrote to the poll watchdog on Tuesday again, requesting it to reconsider the decision.

In its letter, dated April 13, the Election Commission (ECI) of India said that it has no objection to running summer camps which is part of AAP government’s Mission Buniyad Programme, subject to the condition that the appeal to send their wards to the camp has to be made to the parents through schools and not through print, TV or radio advertisements.

Sisodia, who is also the deputy chief minister of Delhi, said, “I feel extremely disappointed that the election commission chose to look at this issue from a very narrow political lens, completely ignoring the interest of lakhs of children largely from the marginalised section of society.”

In his letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Sisodia said the Delhi government has been organising these camps in its schools during the summer breaks since 2016. “The success of the camp is contingent upon support of parents which is ensured through regular reach out to them by government using print media, TV and radio advertisements,” Sisodia said in the letter.

“By exercising your power to stop a simple message to the poor parents asking them to send their children to school during summer vacation, do you really think you are aiding in conducting free and fair elections? On the contrary when you allow continuation of NAMO channel, do you realise that you are using your power arbitrarily?” Sisodia said in the letter.

He requested the election commission to reconsider the decision. “I request you to review the decision and allow the radio message and publication in print media at the earliest,” he said.

Under the Delhi government’s Mission Buniyaad scheme, the government schools organise summer camps for classes 3 to 8 between May and June.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 11:55 IST