Karnataka Deputy CM on EC notice: ‘We’ve not asked for votes, only gave advertisements on work done’

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BENGALURU: With the Election Commission issuing notice to the Karnataka government for advertisements of welfare schemes in several newspapers in poll-bound Telangana, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said that the advertisements do not ask for votes and mention the welfare measures.

He said the Election Commission notice is not as per the law.

“Politically, we have not asked for votes. Whatever our government has done in our state, there are a lot of Telugu-speaking people here also, a lot of other language speaking people also live here, so we have given advertisements what we have done in our government. We’ve not asked for votes. We only gave advertisements on the works done by our government here,” Shivakumar said.

The Election Commission on Monday issued notice to the Karnataka government for publishing advertisements about welfare schemes and achievements in several newspapers in poll-bound Telangana and said it was a violation of Model Code of Conduct.

“The Commission has observed that certain advertisements highlighting welfare schemes and achievements of the central government and state governments are being published by some non-poll-going state governments in the editions of newspapers in the States where elections are going on. The Commission considers this to be a violation of the spirits of the Model Code of Conduct,” the ECI said.

The ECI said that it has been brought to the notice of the Commission by the BJP vide their representation dated November 27 and by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) vide their representation dated November 25 that the Karnataka government has published advertisements of various welfare schemes and achievements in Telangana on November 24 to 27 in the Hyderabad edition of several newspapers.

The commission further said that in future, all such advertisements, issued by non-poll-going state governments during the Model Code of Conduct period shall be forwarded to it for clearance before they are sent for publication in newspapers having edition or having circulation in the poll-bound states.

“The Commission has examined its own records and found that neither such approval was granted by the Commission as required under the above-mentioned instruction nor any such application from the State of Karnataka is found pending for decision.

The Commission asked the Karnataka government to submit it’s explanation by 5pm on November 28.

“Explain the circumstances which led to the violation of the Commission’s aforesaid MCC instructions on the part of the Government. The explanation should reach to the Commission by November 28, 2023, 5 pm. Further publication of any such advertisements by the Government of Karnataka in the State of Telangana shall be stopped forthwith with immediate effect till necessary approvals are taken by the Government from the Commission,” the poll panel said.

It also asked the state government to explain “why disciplinary action is not directed against Secretary-in-charge of Department of Information and Public Relations for above mentioned violations of procedure.” (ANI)

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