NEW DELHI - Against the backdrop of complaints by political parties that yoga guru Ramdev was using his programs to campaign for BJP, the Election Commission of India on Tuesday said yoga camps cannot be used to support any political party during Lok Sabha polls. Though there was no official word from it, the poll body on April 15 uploaded on its website an October, 2013 order which said the venues of such ‘shivirs’ (camps) cannot be used for political campaigning by anyone.
“There shall be no formal and publicized inaugural or closing ceremony with political functionaries as chief guests and special invitees,” the EC order issued during the Delhi assembly polls said. The order makes it clear that any direct or indirect political message from the camp will be viewed seriously and the entire expenditure will be treated as having made on election campaigning and booked under relevant provisions of the election expenditure of contesting candidates under election laws. EC sources said the Commission’s stand on such camps is clear and the order was uploaded to reiterate the decision of the poll body on the issue as there had been several complaints. (PTI)