Durgapur CPI(M) campaign strategy for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll was badly hit after Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) issued a notice to dismantle poll campaign hoardings. Earlier, in a major move the Left party has decided to stay away from writing wall graffiti. Instead the Durgapur CPI(M) has taken hoardings on rent from the ADDA and has put up banners on them to appeal for votes for their candidates. The party has also stressed upon door-to-door campaigning to woo voters.
But in a rather surprising move, ADDA on yesterday (March 28) issued notice to the advertisement agencies, which have leased the hoarding space from ADDA, to dismantle poll campaign hoardings of political parties. Reasoning such an astonishing move ADDA officials said that they have issued such a notice because ADDA believes that they violate model code of conduct.
According to Election Commission officials, there is no rule that prevents political parties from displaying posters and banners for poll campaign on hoarding spaces after taking them in rent.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ADDA, Mr. S. Gupta, said: “We have imposed the restrictions on the hoarding because we want to be cautious about the model code of conduct.”
Pankaj Roy Sarkar, the secretary of the CPI(M) local committee in Bidhannagar alleged that the Trinamool-run ADDA was trying to prevent them from campaigning. “An advertising agency can rent out space to anybody for advertisement. But the ADDA has forced the ad agency to cancel the agreement with us, as we are Opposition Party.
Trinamool MLA of Durgapur (East) and ADDA Chairman Nikhil Banerjee said that everything was done according to norms. “The allegations raised by CPI(M) are baseless. The hoardings of all political parties were removed as per norms,” said Banerjee.
CPI(M) leader in Durgapur said the initiative was taken for the first time in an attempt not to irk voters and avoiding going into direct clash with Trinamool Congress on the issue of putting up wall graffiti. Durgapur CPI (M) leaders said that the biased and unscrupulous decision by the Trinamool-run ADDA is one of the many steps that the Trinamool Congress is taking to stop the voice of the Opposition parties.
Bardhaman-Durgapur CPI(M) candidate and the current MP Sk. Saidul Haque has termed the move as an effort to jeopardize democracy.
Residents in several localities of Durgapur welcomed the move not to write wall graffiti. Calling the move as a good gesture, residents also opined that all political parties should follow this as this will avoid visual pollution.
Now that ADDA has issued such a notice, Durgapur CPI(M) is left with the only option of door-to-door campaign and public meetings.
Several senior Durgapur CPI(M) leaders said that they will put up this deceitful act of the Trinamool-run ADDA during door-to-door campaign.