With Congress poster boy Rahul Gandhi in the city, we see a rash of posters everywhere, with zealous party workers announcing his visit and welcoming him. While one is used to seeing these hoardings and banners in the city, with political leaders smiling on their birthdays, these seem to peak whenever a prominent name visits the city.

Many of these hoardings are legal but there are other illegal hoardings too. One often sees the BMC swinging into action at different times, tearing down illegal hoardings. Despite this, many hoardings escape action and continue to stay put, long after the leader has left. Citizens also do not like to see the city defaced by these garish, and often not very tasteful hoardings. On several occasions, they are obstructing visibility and motorists are sometimes left complaining bitterly about how they are adversely affecting visibility.

One also has to wonder why parties spend so much on what can only be a publicity gimmick in times of dire economic crisis. Can these party funds not be utilised for more urgent and pressing needs? This is a waste of money. One can hope that new age political leaders like Rahul Gandhi actually make a diktat themselves that there should be no posters of them, on city’s walls. This would surely be a refreshing step and earn them much goodwill from cynical citizens already disgusted with political posturing and self-promotion.

Illegal grabbing of space is also deplorable. In Mumbai, corporates pay lakhs to advertise their products while political parties seem to get high-visibility spots for free. It is time to put an end to this ‘wallpaper’ that the city gets plastered with on regular occasions. Maybe, Rahul Gandhi can take the initiative.