State Election Commission’s regulation on ministers, MLAs

Bhubaneswar: After fixing September 19 as the date for the urban polls in Odisha, the State Election Commission has asked ministers and MLAs not to highlight government policies during Independence Day celebrations tomorrow.

The commission said it had no objection to the chief minister, ministers and government officers unfurling the tricolor tomorrow, but they should "confine themselves to extolling the achievements of the martyrs only in securing freedom of the country, glorification of India and freedom fighters, nation, culture and so on".

State election commissioner Ajit Tripathy gave the direction in a letter to Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra with copies to all revenue divisional commissioners and district collectors.

"Under no circumstances, these should become platform for political campaign either highlighting or criticising the performance or non-performance of any government, federal, state or local bodies, urban or rural," he said.

Elections would be held in 91 urban local bodies.