CHENNAI: The State government on Monday informed the Madras High Court that advertisements given in all media speaking about the achievements of the ruling party have stopped since February 18 after the DMK moved a plea to restrain the AIADMK from such advertisements.
According to the petitioner, RS Bharathi, courts across the country have already ruled that political parties cannot use public funds for advertising about themselves and gain mileage. He added that AIADMK had printed two crore carry bags during the distribution of Pongal gift hampers, which cost at least Rs 20 crore.
On Monday, before Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, Advocate General Vijay Narayan contended that a total of Rs 64.72 crore was spent on advertisements. “The advertisements were issued only to showcase performance of the government in the past four years. All such activities will be stopped once the Election Commission of India (ECI) notifies elections,” he said, adding that all advertisements had been stopped.
However, senior advocate, P Wilson, representing the DMK, said they had given representations on the advertisements in January and February to the ECI. Countering the submissions, senior advocate G Rajagopal, appearing for the ECI, submitted that the commission was awaiting a reply from the AIADMK. The bench adjourned the hearing to March 2 for the State to file the report.
‘ECI yet to take action’
DMK counsel said they had given representations on the advertisements in January and February to the ECI, adding no action has been initiated