Stop distribution of TV sets: EC tells Karunanidhi Govt.

March 2nd, 2011 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Chennai, Mar 2 (ANI): A day after announcing the poll schedule for Tamil Nadu, three other states and the Union Territory of Puducherry, the Election Commission on Wednesday began a strict implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, ordering the DMK Government immediately halt the free distribution of colour television sets.

The distribution of free colour television sets was one of the freebies offered by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in its 2006 election manifesto.

Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said government officials would face severe disciplinary action if found aiding the distribution of television sets.

“District Collectors and the Heads of Departments have been asked to stop forthwith the distribution of free colour TVs till the election process is over”, Kumar said in a statement here.

The Tamil Nadu Government had procured over 1.5 million TV sets at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore, to distribute one set for every ration card holder, regardless of the income parameters of the ration card holders. Kumar also said the ministries and other authorities should not announce, among others, any financial grants in any form or promise construction of roads and provision of drinking water facilities.

“The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not make use of official machinery or personnel during electioneering,” he added.

Asserting that the election department would be very strict in enforcing the Model Code of Conduct during the elections, he said video surveillance teams would be put in all constituencies to monitor poll expenditure and Model Code of Conduct.

“Candidates should open a new account as per the EC guidelines and all the election expenses should be transacted only through that account,” he added.

According to him, there will be over 54,000 polling stations across the state. There will be six national parties and three state parties in the fray.

The Election Commission on Tuesday announced the dates for elections in the five States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry

With parts of the state affected by Maoists activities, West Bengal will have elections in six phases on April 18, 23, 27, May 3, 7 and 10, in perhaps the longest ever in the state, also known for political violence.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will go to polls on April 13, Assam’s two-phased poll is scheduled on April four and 11.

Counting of votes in all the five states will take place on May 13.

While West Bengal has 294 assembly constituencies, Tamil Nadu has 234, Kerala 140, Puducherry 30 and Assam 126.

Polling will be held with the help of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMS). (ANI)

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