Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 2:
Use of pictures of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, MLAs and leaders of his party in publicity of different programmes of the state government has been challenged through a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Orissa High Court.
While rupees in crores are being spent from the state exchequer on this account, Chief Minister and political leaders are reaping personal benefits, the petitioner has contended in the PIL.
This is in violation of the Supreme Court’s order in this regard, Manas Mohanty secretary of voluntary organization ‘Nabadiganta’, the petitioner has cited.
The petitioner has alleged that putting up of hoardings, banners and advertisements with pictures of the Chief Minister, local MLAs and BJD leaders for distribution of ration cards under the NFSA as utilization of public money for the personal publicity of some particular politicians.
The rules are against use of photographs of politicians in government advertisements barring few areas. The apex court has clearly ruled that printing of photographs of politicians in government advertisements as misuse of public money.
Besides, the Chief Minister and his party leaders are promoted as everyone and everything of the scheme, even though the state and the Centre share the funding, the petitioner has contended.
The petitioner has made Chief Minister, chief secretary, secretaries of the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare departments of the state and Centre, DGP, CBI and CAG as parties in the case while praying for immediate removal of these advertisements and an investigation by an independent body such as the CBI, the CAG or any such authority.