Himachal Pradesh government violates Election Commission orders on the first day
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
On October 14, 2022 at around 3 PM Election Commission of India had announced the election schedule of Himachal Pradesh elections.
With the announcement of elections, the model code of conduct was imposed immediately in the hill state. After the imposition of code of conduct, the government and its departments are not allowed to issue any advertisements, tenders, to make announcements etc through which an electorate is attracted.
As per election commission of India (ECI) guidelines “the Model Code of Conduct is enforced from the date, time of announcement of election schedule by the Election Commission and is operational till the process of elections is completed and is applicable in the entire state .After the imposition of model code of conduct (MCC) the ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by the Commission; announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kind; make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc.; make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings etc. which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favor of the party in power.
But, the BJP ruled sate government has issued large number of tenders worth crores of rupees in today’s different newspapers, directly violating the norms. As per election commission, “work shall not be started in respect of which work order has been issued before announcement of election but the work has actually not started in the field. If a work has actually started in the field that can be continued.”
When contacted an official of the leading daily newspaper of the region, on the condition of anonymity he said “we had received a large quantity of tenders for publication for today’s issue (October 15,2022). But after the announcement of election and imposition of model of conduct, our staff contacted the Director Information and Public Relations (DIPR) Himachal Pradesh and informed about this development. But, they asked us to publish all the released tenders in today’s issue only. From tomorrow onwards, don’t publish any tenders and publish only those tenders which have approval of the Election Commission.”
Himachal Pradesh government violates Election Commission orders on the first day. When contacted the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), election Commission, Himachal Pradesh, Maneesh Garg he said “I don’t know about this. Let me check it first.”
When contacted later, (CEO), election Commission, Himachal Pradesh, Maneesh Garg said “yes, i have seen the advertisements. Yes, its a clear violation. We will seek explanation from the departments and enquire why did they violate the Model Code of Conduct and issued the tenders, advertisements after the imposition of Model of Code in the State.”