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Telangana elections: Did not violate Model Code of Conduct, says Karnataka govt on advertisement row

In a letter to the Karnataka Chief Secretary, the EC said the state government did not obtain prior approval from it for publishing the advertisements, and that its action was violative of the poll code instructions issued to the central and state governments years ago.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Hyderabad Published on: November 28, 2023 16:02 IST
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar
Image Source : PTI/FILE Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar

Day after the Election Commission stopped the advertisements of Karnataka government being published in Telangana, Congress government in the southern state said it would respond to the poll panel. 

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said that the advertisements about its work in newspapers in poll-bound Telangana do not violate any rules, as they did not ask for votes.

Speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar said that the advertisements were only aimed at projecting the work done by the Karnataka government amid claims by opposition parties that it did not implement any of its 'guarantee schemes'.

"We have not committed any violation; the Karnataka government has not asked anyone for votes...What violation have we committed?," he asked in response to a question about the EC's directions.

The deputy minister said whatever work the government had done, it had just presented them to various states -- to newspaper readers whether in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, or Telangana.

The ads were a counter to the opposition's claims about the Karnataka government, and did not canvass for votes, he reiterated.

"They (opposition parties) were trying to propagate that we have not implemented (guarantee schemes) -- we have just said it (about implementation of guarantees in the ads), we have not asked for any votes. "If we have asked any votes, then (it is) okay (to question), but we have not asked for votes from anyone; we have not said vote for Congress or X or Y," the Congress leader said.

He sought to compare the ads with those given by other governments in newspapers.

"There will be so many magazines or publications covering lots of issues.
They (other governments) also will give a lot of other advertisements.
We are projecting ourselves (Karnataka govt), we are not projecting the Congress party -- we will definitely reply (to EC)," he said.

On Monday, the BJP had filed a complaint with the Election Commission in the matter. The saffron party alleged that the Congress violated the Representation of the People Act and the Model Code of Conduct with its government in Karnataka publishing advertisements in Telangana media with an eye on the November 30 election there.

Upon receiving the complaint, the poll body the same day asked the Congress government in Karnataka to stop publishing advertisements about its work in newspapers Telangana. The EC also sought an explanation from it for not seeking prior approval as mandated under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Telangana's ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) too had approached the poll panel on the issue.

(With PTI inputs)

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