The Kerala state government has removed advertisements worth Rs 1 crore from Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses, after it got an ultimatum from the Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala.
The advertisements were put up on the occasion of the Kerala government completing 1,000 days in office. These advertisements, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s photograph, were put up on about 5,000 Kerala SRTC buses at a cost of about Rs 1 crore, reports OnManorama.
Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena had issued orders to remove these government advertisements from Kerala SRTC buses on Saturday. According to reports, though the government took no move to remove the advertisements, almost all the posters were removed by Saturday night.
The advertisements, which read ‘We are one, we are number one’, had been pasted on Kerala SRTC’s ordinary and superfast buses. The advertisements also showcased the achievements of various government departments.
The ads, which had been placed on buses since February 16, cost the government a huge amount of money. According to reports, advertisements posted on ‘superfast’ Kerala SRTC buses had cost about Rs 2,700 each and those posted on local buses cost about Rs 2,000 each.
Government advertisements from government buildings and websites have also been directed to be removed. The CEO has also given directions to district collectors to take stern action if instructions related to the model code of conduct are not adhered to by parties. The CEO also held a meeting with top state police officers and other senior officials as part of ensuring strict enforcement of the code of the conduct until the general elections are over.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax department of the state has constituted a special team to keep a close watch on the election expenses of candidates and political parties, reports The Hindu. The team has been set up on the directions of the Election Commission.