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Sky-hog parties honour code

For over a month, they had ruled the Ranchi skyline — from north to south, from east to west, smiling faces of candidates and amusing party slogans reminding all and sundry that it was election time.

Vote Thursday over, political hoardings have done the vanishing act from the capital and its suburbs for good.

Empty spaces have now been taken over by IPL hoardings, with two matches being scheduled at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Dhurwa on May 2 and 13.

The prestigious parliamentary seat of Ranchi went to polls on April 17. And in an almost unprecedented three-day move, parties have removed hoardings, banners and posters from strategic points.

BJP workers said they had dismantled all hoardings and banners by Friday afternoon. On Sunday, they were busy doing a recce of the city to check if any promotional material was left behind.

Incidentally, the party had hogged the highest number of hoardings across the constituency. Gamma Singh, who is in charge of the BJP’s promotion cell in the state, admitted that 110 NaMo hoardings had been put up. “But now, we have removed all. I have directed party workers to also roll up banners and posters everywhere,” he said.

Congress representative J.P. Gupta echoed Singh, saying strict orders had been issued to mohalla offices to pull down all promotional materials by Sunday.

District public relations officer Paltu Mahto revealed that candidates had received permission for displaying hoardings only till April 15. “It is good that they have removed hoardings, better late than never. Else, a crackdown would have been necessary,” he added.

In addition to permission for 110 NaMo hoardings, the party’s candidate Ram Tahal Choudhary had sought a nod for a dozen more in the city.

Ajsu chief Sudesh Mahto and JVM nominee Amitabh Choudhary were granted permission for 48 and 40 hoardings, respectively. Sitting Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay preferred to put up only 25 and banked more on campaign vehicles, the district public relations officer informed.