'Gujarat' magazine distribution stopped

Piles of state government's fortnightly propaganda magazine 'Gujarat' ended up cluttering most of the office spaces across the state after its distribution was ordered to be suspended by the chief electoral officer (CEO), Gujarat, on Wednesdayevening.

This comes close on the heels of another order in which the CEO had asked the government offices, boards and corporations to edit their respective websites by removing pictures of political leaders and announcements of development schemes.

Following orders from Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anita Karwal, distribution of the latest issue of ‘Gujarat’, a state government publication, has been withheld.

Nearly five lakh copies of the magazine, published by the Information Department of Govt. of Gujarat, are likely to remain shelved. Karwal issued the orders to all District Collectors.

Besides this, over 1.5 lakh copies of the magazine were seized from Gandhinagar, Godhra and Amreli. A total of 48,000 copies were seized from Godhra, while the number of those seized from Gandhinagar and Amreli stood at nearly 55,000 each.

The copies were printed before the poll dates were announced. However, the distribution is an issue with the Election Commission as code of conduct is in place now.

"This amounts to practically shutting down of websites," said a department head, revealing that the orders were issued on October 3 with instruction to comply by October 5, 12 noon.
Nearly 8 lakh copies of the magazine, which invariably has chief minister Narendra Modi's picture on its cover in all its issues, are sent to head post offices of the state for further distribution every month. This month's copies of the first issue had landed early this week and some had been already distributed in places like Godhra when orders of withdrawal were conveyed to the district election heads.

"We had received around 40,000 copies out of which around 4,000-5,000 copies had been dispatched to the sub-post offices when the instructions arrived. We have also ordered recall of all those copies which have been delivered to the subscribers,"
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