Sunday, March 8, 2009

CWG ads draw EC ire, asks for report

I had posted yesterday about an advertisement about CWG, which are being published in newspapers. You can have a look here:

CWG Projects Lagging Behind, Govt Beating Own Drums

Now Election Commission has send notices to officials regarding the same

Sending out a strong message to officials who violate the model code of conduct, the Election Commission has taken serious note of advertisements on the Commonwealth Games in newspapers and asked Delhi government to recover the cost from the personal accounts of the officials concerned.

"This is a clear violation of the model code of conduct which prohibits publication of the achievements of governments at the cost of the public exchequer," EC said. The commission has asked the cabinet secretary, ministry of youth affairs and sports and the chief secretary of Delhi to give the names of officials who authorized the release of advertisements and the total expenditure incurred on them. It has sought a report by Monday.

"The total cost of the advertisements should be recovered from the personal accounts of the officers and persons responsible for the release of the advertisements," said the commission. The advertisements highlighted the achievements of the central government and the Delhi government regarding the development works carried out in the capital, which included 24 flyovers, 75 aerobridge airport, 1,285 kilometres of better roads and 5,000 low floor buses.

Delhi chief electoral officer Satbir Silas Bedi said they had not got the order till late Saturday night. However, Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta told Times City, "We have got the order and would file our reply. We did not issue the advertisement and hence have no role in this entire issue. We will communicate this to the EC."