All political posters to be removed: Dist poll officer and BBMP Commissioner

BENGALURU: All advertisements related to government schemes and politicians should be pulled down from public places, like bus-stands and other places, ordered District Election Officer and BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad on Tuesday. 

He said that 20 teams have been formed to go around the city to remove posters, buntings and any other publicity material. The model code of conduct comes into effect from Tuesday and all advertisement materials will be pulled down by 10 pm, he said. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has given a 24-hour deadline to remove the political publicity material. Photos of political leaders from government websites too will be removed, he said.

Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Managing Director V. Ponnuraj has been told to ensure that all government advertisements on buses and at bus shelters be taken off immediately. Department of Information and Publicity officials too have been directed to ensure that there are no government advertisements either on TV or radio channels. Any advertisement by any political party will now have to be cleared by the Media Certification Committee that has been formed, he said. On former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi's image at all Indira Canteens, Mr Prasad said that as per ECI guidelines, images of political leaders who are dead need not be removed. "However, we will remove photos of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from all canteens," he said.

As many as 28 nodal teams have been formed (one each for an Assembly constituency) to ensure that candidates do not violate the model code of conduct.

Each Assembly segment will also have six flying squads, three static surveillance teams, three video surveillance teams, one video viewing team and one accounting team. All teams will be provided vehicles fitted with GPS and cameras, he said. 

Coordination meetings have been held by DEO with officials from the income tax and the excise departments. Cash transactions will be closely monitored. The I-T department's intelligence wing will keep a hawk's eye on illegal transportation of cash and abnormal withdrawals of cash. The banks have been notified to intimate whenever there is a huge cash transaction. Excise officials have been asked to keep a tight vigil on distilleries and sale of alcohol, he said.

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