If the number of banners, boards, posters, flags and other defacement removed in the city is any indication, then 2015 seemed to be the year of the “Godfathers” rather than the “Gods”. Far more political banners than religious and social ones were removed in 2015.Of the 12,853 banners, boards, posters, cut-outs, flags and other wall defacement removed, 4,924 were political banners, as compared to 4,893 in the religious and social categories. The number of commercial banners and posters stood at 1,200. As per the information provided under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, while 194 such items were removed in January, the number jumped to 2,539 by the year end.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The information was sought under the RTI Act by Andheri resident Ashok Pai. “I had sought the information when I saw the party flag of Shiv Sena hoisted on the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on the Western Express Highway (WEH),” said Pai.In his application, Pai asked if a political party flag could be hoisted at public places, if the BMC had given the permission for the same, and if so, then under what rule. He also sought the copy of the same and details of removal of flags from across the city.According to the reply given by the public information officer, who is also the deputy superintendent of licenses, political parties are not permitted to hoist their flags at any public places and that no such permission was given to any political party.Pai has now written to the municipal commissioner, seeking action against officials who did not take the action of removing political flags near the Shivaji Maharaj statue at the international airport. “Despite court orders, they are not acting on it,” said Pai. The information provided showed that the number of political banners and boards did not fall sizeably, despite court orders. dna tried contacting the license department but there was no response.

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Mumbai: More political than religious banners removed in 2015