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EC directs dropping of ‘Aam Aadmi’ from names of Delhi Govt schemes, AAP alleges commission working under pressure

New Delhi: The state election commission has directed authorities to ensure “appropriate action” after a complaint by a BJP leader that display of word “Aam” in names of Delhi government-run schemes amounted to violation of MCD poll code.

The commission in a letter written to the Delhi chief secretary and commissioners of the three municipal corporations, has also asked them to submit a compliance report soon.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has written to the Election Commission protesting its decision. Alleging that the Election Commission is working under pressure, the party has demanded that it withdraws the decision.

Civic polls are due on April 22. A Delhi BJP delegation had on March 20 met State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava, seeking his direction for removal or covering of the word “Aam Aadmi” in the names of various AAP government-run schemes, including mohalla clinics, displayed through hoardings, billboards, banners and name plates.

“The Model Code of Conduct is in force w.e.f. 14.03.2017, 5:00 PM. You are therefore, requested to please ensure the appropriate action and submit a compliance report to the Commission in 48 hours,” says the letter by the state election commission dated March 21.

Besides, Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic, Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Service and few other schemes are run by Kejriwal government, which have ‘aam addmi’ words prefixed in their names.

Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, who led the delegation, had said the model code of conduct has come into force in all areas under the three civic bodies and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party should not be allowed to use its official position during electioneering.

“The Delhi government is running about 150 Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics in different parts of the city where the words ‘Aam Aadmi’ are prominently displayed on hoardings, billboards and banners etc.

“It is also running Aam Aadmi Bypass Express Bus Service that covers a vast area of the city,” the memorandum by the delegation reads.

Naming of these clinics and the bus service after the Aam Aadmi Party is sure to “influence” the voters in its favour, to the “disadvantage” of other political parties in the fray, the BJP leaders have claimed.

Citing relevant examples, the BJP delegation had also said the Election Commission in the recently held polls in Uttar Pradesh had directed to cover the word ‘Samajwadi’ on 1,488 ambulances operated under ‘Samajwadi Swasthya Sewa’.

“In 2012 too, it had directed that the elephant symbol of the BSP be covered in parks,” it said.

PTI