With the model code of conduct in force in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, the Election Commission has directed the state Govt to stop distribution of carry bags, free of cost, to PDS consumers with picture of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee inscribed on them.

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, who was in Shimla to review arrangements for the Assembly election, passed these order and said, “Henceforth, no bags will be issued to PDS consumers with pictures of any political leader inscribed on them.

He said the commission had received a complaint in this regard and no such free bags would be distributed from now onwards.

The commission had also received complaints regarding violation of the model code of conduct by the ruling BJP and these would be looked into and action taken, if warranted, the CEC said. He, however, expressed satisfaction over arrangements made by the state government for the Assembly election slated for November 4.

Sampath said the commission had received complaints about “bias reporting” by local Doordarshan Kendra and would take up the matter with the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry.

CEC also assured to look into the complaints of large-scale appointments, re-employment and extension granted to some employees. He added that the commission would also look into complaints about posting of certain officers with doubtful integrity in some districts.

Sampath said a system was in place to check “paid news” and added Media Certification and Monitoring Committees had been constituted in all districts in this regard.