EC bans using Navratra functions for poll campaign
New Delhi: Navratra festivities beginning on Tuesday will be under the scanner of Election Commission which on Sunday barred all kinds of political activities at religious functions in poll-bound Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh during the nine-day revelry.
The Navratras, which is especially a major festival in Gujarat, see a number of `dandia` and other programmes being held across the state attracting tens of thousands of people.
EC officials said there is no ban on organising `dandias`, `aartis` and other such programme during the period but political leaders cannot be invited as chief guests and they cannot use it as a platform for campaigning.
Also they will not be allowed to distribute any publicity material in any language at such events.
The prospective candidates and politicians can, however, attend these functions as ordinary citizens, the officials said, adding there would not be any special inaugural or concluding ceremony for the events.
Election authorities in the state will ensure that organisers do not allow the politicians to give speeches or use the events for campaigning and any violaton will invoke strict action under various laws, including Religious Institution (prevention of misuse) Act, Chief Electoral officer of Gujarat Anita Karwal told a news agency.
Before granting permission to organisers of such functions, the authorities will take an undertaking from them that they will not allow the event and the venue to be used for any political activity.
The rule will apply to both Himachal Pradesh where the process of electioneering has begun with the issue of formal election on Wednesday as well as Gujarat where the election notification would be issued on November 17 and 23 for the two-phase polling that will happen on December 13 and 17.
Himachal Pradesh goes to polls on November 04.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Is population control next on central govt's agenda after demonetization?
- Watch: Jayalalithaa's last rites performed by her close friend and aide Sasikala Natarajan
- Jayalalithaa's funeral procession: Sea of mourners gather to pay last respects
- Watch: Tracing the journey of late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa from films to politics
- Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's condition extremely grave
- RIP Amma: Jayalalithaa dies after 75 days in hospital; Tamil Nadu mourns
- RBI to issue new Rs 100 banknotes, old notes to continue as legal tender
- Airtel’s free 4G internet offer may be a ploy to steal your data
- J Jayalalithaa passes away: Know what all she left behind in assets
- RIP Amma: When Jayalalithaa sang one of her favourite songs, that too in Hindi - WATCH