It is very rare to see the walls without posters or roadside without hoardings, trumpeting the achievements of political leaders, in the city.
With the enforcement of the model code of conduct ahead of the 16th Lok Sabha elections, the district administration has been removing political graffiti and posters from the walls and hoardings from the roadside.
According to Collector L. Subramanian, rural areas are free of political graffiti, posters and hoardings.
“Officials from the nine town panchayats in Madurai have submitted reports that works to clear political graffiti, posters and hoardings are over. In the city, 99 per cent of the work has been completed. I am yet to submit a report to the Election Commission,” Mr.Subramanian told The Hindu on Sunday. The work was expected to be completed on Monday, he added.
“Because of the huge volume of political posters and banners in the city, the authorities were unable to complete the task immediately,” he noted.
Areas such as Simmakkal, New Jail Road and Arapalayam sport a cleaner look without political posters and graffiti on compound walls.
The boards outside Amma Unavagams (canteens) bearing the photos of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have been removed. “Without the board, there is nothing to indicate that this is an Amma Unavagam. Residents of the city might be familiar with their locations, but for people from other places it is going to be a difficult task in locating them,” said K. Pandian, a daily wage labourer, outside the Amma Unavagam at Periyar Bus Stand on Sunday.
The covers of Amma mineral water bottles have also been removed, but the name on the kiosks, “Amma Water”, stays. Though the Collector claimed that 99 per cent of the political banners and posters were removed, several banners and posters, particularly those of the ruling AIADMK, still continued to stay in several places, including Goripalayam, Palam Station Road and K.K. Nagar on Sunday.
Banners of a Tamil daily, a political party’s mouthpiece, are seen in at least a couple of places in K.K. Nagar and on Alagar Kovil Road, bearing the image of the Chief Minister.