Tagore, Bose pictures can stay, as poll panel softens stand

April 1st, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) Pictures of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore can continue to adorn the walls of the state secretariat in West Bengal without violating the election code of conduct, following a clarification by the Election Commission Wednesday.
A directive by the poll panel a day earlier had ruffled many feathers here, particularly that of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. But now the commission has clarified that its stricture disallowing the pictures of political functionaries relates only to present day politicians and not “past national heroes”.

“The Election Commission has re-interpreted that the stricture is only on present day politicians. The Election Commission has the highest regard for past national heroes and there is no stricture on their photographs,” Debashis Sen, chief electoral officer of the state, told IANS.

A poll panel directive Tuesday said: “…No calendar, picture, etc having photographs of the prime minister and chief minister, ministers and other political functionaries should be displayed anywhere in any of the government or public buildings.

“Only the pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, the incumbent president of India and the incumbent governor of the state concerned may continue to be displayed. You are therefore requested to ensure that such calendars and pictures should be removed from government or public buildings.”

Dismayed over the ruling, Bhattacharjee had said he would seek a clarification from the poll panel on the issue.

“We will not remove the pictures of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore from the walls of the Writers Buildings (the state secretariat),” Bhattacharjee had said at the state’s secretariat.

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