Election Commission of India directs political parties not to use public funds


The state election commission today asked political parties in poll-bound Punjab to comply with the directions of the Election Commission on not using public funds and machinery to carry out any activity that amounts to advertisement for the party.

“We have written to all political parties in Punjab to follow the directions of the Election Commission with regard to use of public funds and government machinery,” a senior state election commission official said here.

The EC had recently issued directions stating that no political party would be allowed to use public funds, public place and government machinery to carry out any activity that would amount to advertisement for the party or propagating the election symbol allotted to the party.

The Commission had said, “It is clarified that any violation of the directions would be treated as violation of a lawful direction of the Commission within the meaning of paragraph 16 A of the Elections Symbol (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968),”

The state Assembly elections are due next year.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress and AAP, while hailing the directions called for their strict implementation and stop the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) from the alleged “misuse” of public funds and government machinery.

“The SAD-led government is blatantly misusing public funds for its own promotion despite the fact that most of the things they are claiming (through) advertisements are complete lies,” senior Congress leader and state party spokesperson Sunil Jakhar said.

“SAD is using its own tagline ‘Raj Nahi Sewa’ in government advertisements and trying to mislead people,” he alleged while urging the EC to take note of it and take action against the ruling party.

AAP’s Punjab co-convener Jarnail Singh said, “By putting photos of Parkash Singh Badal on ambulances and cycles (being given to girl students), Badals think they are giving some kind of favour to people of the state. This practice must be stopped.”

The AAP MLA from Delhi added that the sources of funds of political parties must also be made transparent.

(With inputs from PTI)