SEC bans Congress manifesto

Bhubaneswar: The Congress party today received a big blow from the State Election Commission(SEC) which asked the party to withdraw its manifesto published for the ensuing panchayat elections. The SEC directed the Congress to carry out its order with immediate effect from today.

The Biju Janata Dal had petitioned the SEC following certain objectionable facts and pictures of its leaders in the manifesto. The SEC after hearing representatives of both the Congress and the BJD had reserved its verdict on Tuesday.

The SEC exercising its power conferred by the Constitution of India under Artcle 243-K and Section 6-A of the Zilla Parishad Act-1991 asked the Congress to withdraw the manifestos already in circulation. The SEC categorically asked the party to implement the order with immediate effect from today.

The commission however said that the Congree party if it so desired could reprint the manifesto but with three categorial deletions. The first objectionable item related to three paras published on page three of the manifesto and the second one concerned the list of ministers projected to be tainted at page 9 and 10 of the manifesto.

The SEC also directed the Congress that it could not reprint the cartoon of the chief minister Naveen Pattanaik captioned `Odishara Dashanan` published at the backpage of the manifesto.

The BJD had raised objections regarding printing of unsubstantiated facts against its ministers in the manifesto in violation of election code and rules.