TRS paints Hyderabad in pink hue, thanks to loophole in poll code
One can put up political ads on private properties if those parties don’t have any objection, says Telangana CEO
Hyderabad: Of all the sights in the southern city of Hyderabad, with its famous architectural landmarks and modern infrastructure, the most visible these days is the fuchsia pink poster of the Telangana caretaker chief minister asking people to vote for his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Every bit of the skyline, right from the airport to the city, has some of the pink from the poster.
In the ad blitzkrieg, caretaker chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s face is plastered on almost every hoarding in the city as well as on pillars of the metro and flyovers.
“Vote for car” the poster reads, depicting a white Ambassador car, the TRS party symbol.
“Jahaan bhi dekho, innoich dikthe (wherever we look, we see only him),” Shaik Mohammed Ahmed, a driver at a private company says. Rao’s TRS that is defending its rule in the forthcoming 7 December assembly polls, appears to be the only political party advertising on hoardings in Hyderabad.
The sight of bright pink Ambassador cars campaigning across Hyderabad adds to the shock value.
According to the model code of conduct, putting up such banners is a violation but Rao seems to have found the one loophole and making the most of it.
Rajat Kumar, the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Telangana says that the advertisement boards belong to private parties who put up the ads of TRS and Rao.
One can put up political ads on private properties if those parties don’t have any objection, Kumar explains. Critics see it as a product of fear and overcompensating for the lack of work done by the TRS government.
“The main thing is that most of the ad agencies are under his or his family’s control,” Vikram Goud, the Telangana Pradesh Congress secretary says. “They own around 680 hoardings,” he says, adding that the aggressive ad campaign is because the party has realised that it is losing ground rapidly. The election authorities are investigating allegations made by the Congress against the TRS.
The TRS says that all of the advertising campaign is accounted for and is not a violation of election rules.
“All of this is accounted for and is not a violation,” K. Keshav Rao, senior TRS leader said. He added that there is only a limitation on the expenditure of individual candidates and not of a party which has every right to advertise.
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