Chief Electoral Officer Narinder Chauhan said here today that as per the instructions of Election Commission of India (ECI) wall writing, pasting of posters, papers or defacement in any other form, or erecting/displaying of cutouts, hoardings, banners, flags etc. would not be permitted on any public property and public premises.

Chauhan said that if the local laws permit or provide for writing of slogans, displaying posters etc. or erecting cutouts, hoardings, banners, political advertisement etc, in any public place (as against Govt. premises) on payment or otherwise, this may be allowed strictly in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law and subject to any court orders. It would be ensured that any such place is not dominated /monopolized by any particular party or candidate. All parties and candidates would be provided equal opportunity in this regard, he added.

Chief Electoral Officer said that if the local law does not permit wall writing, pasting of posters and similar other permanent or semi-permanent defacement which was not removable on private places, the same would not be permitted even with the consent of the owner of the property. He said that the political parties, candidates, their agents, workers and supporters may hoist one party flag showing their election symbol on their own property, provided they do so on their own voluntarily and without any pressure from any party, organization or person and these do not cause any inconvenience in any manner to anyone else. No cutouts or hoardings or banners of the nature of political advertisement would be allowed on any private property, he added.

Chauhan said that where the local laws permit wall writings and pasting of posters, putting up hoardings, banners etc. on private premises with the owner’s permission, the contesting candidates or the political parties concerned would obtain written permission from the owner of the property and submit photocopies of the same to the Returning Officers. The expenditure incurred on specific campaign would be added to the election expenditure made by the candidate. The contesting candidate would furnish such information village/locality/town-wise, to the Returning Officer or the authorized officer within three days of obtaining the requisite permission for easy checking by the Returning Officer or the Election Observer or any officer connected with the conduct of elections, he added.

CEO further said that if any political party/association/ candidate/person indulge in defacement of any property in violation of the local law, the Returning Officer/District Election Officer would issue notice to the offender for removing the defacement forthwith. If prompt action would not be taken then the district authorities would take action to remove the defacement and any expenses incurred in the process would be recovered from the political party/association/candidate/ person responsible for the defacement and would be added to the election expenditure of the candidate concerned besides, action would also be initiated to prosecute the offender.

ECI directed that display of flags, stickers etc. would not be permitted on commercial vehicles unless such vehicle is validly used for election campaign after obtaining the requisite permit from the District Electoral Officer/ Returning Officer to display this same in original on the wind screen.

He said that vehicles with modification and special campaign vehicles like Video Rath etc. can be used only after obtaining the requisite permission from the competent authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act.

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