Thursday, December 13, 2012

EC bans circulation of Gujarat magazine

The state govt’s publication sings paeans of CM Modi, which is a violation of model code of conduct
DNA Correspondent l
Gagging the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) further, Election Commission of India (EC) recently instructed state information department and district election officers to withdraw copies of ‘Gujarat’ – a fortnightly magazine published by Gujarat government.
Following the commission’s instructions, about 5.5 lakh copies of the magazine are believed to have been pulled back. An approximately equal number of copies have reached subscribers.
Personnel at the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) confirmed that EC had instructed state information department to withdraw copies of the magazine, which were dispatched to subscribers via post.
“These copies were lying at the post offices when they were pulled back,” said an official with the CEO office. “The magazine is fortnightly and is dispatched on first and second day of every month. About 11 lakh copies were sent out on October 1 and 2 but with model code of conduct (MCC) announced on October 3, a sizeable fraction of the circulation was acceded,” added the officer.
Sources in state information department confirmed the withdrawal. “We don’t have the exact figure but we have ensured that no copies reach the subscribers,” said sources.
“We instructed district information officers, and the commission too directed its district electoral officers to ensure this. About 50% of the copies have been recalled with as many
already delivered to subscribers,” added sources.
Each copy of the magazine costs the state information department about Rs9-10 with about 11 lakh of them sent out to subscribers via post. The circulation reached ginormous proportions due to Modi’s Sadbhavana fasts last year where district administrators were directed to garner as many subscriptions as possible.
‘Gujarat’ is the state government’s mouthpiece that sings paeans of the chief minister and his development schemes on every page.