Chennai: With the model code of conduct
coming into force for the April 13 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls,
the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered stoppage of distribution
of free colour TV sets, the ruling DMK`s flagship scheme.
Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar also warned of
"severe action" against officials found violating the code.
"District Collectors and the Heads of Departments have
been asked to stop forthwith distribution of free colour TVs
till the elections process is over", Kumar said in a statement
here, a day after the EC announced the poll schedule.
He said officials would face severe disciplinary
action if they were found to have aided the TV distribution.
The distribution of free colour TV sets was one of the
freebies offered by the DMK in its election manifesto for the
2006 Assembly polls.
Government has covered a major section of the
population under the scheme and it recently ordered
procurement of 10 lakh CTV sets for distribution among the
Officials had already distributed tokens to
beneficiaries to receive the sets.
The CEO 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.
No ad-hoc appointments in Government and Public
Undertakings which `may have the effect of influencing the
voters in favour of the party in power,` must be made, he
"Further, the ministers shall not combine their
official visit with electioneering work and shall not make use
of official machinery or personnel during electioneering," he