Poll Code of Conduct Relaxed in 13 States

To facilitate routine functioning of administrative machinery of all the 13 states where polling has come to a draw, the Election Commission has decided to relax the model code of conduct there. The decision will help resume implementation of ongoing development programmes in these states.

In its directive, the EC allowed review with field officers as well as review meeting of officers at headquarters, not those who are on election duty. The directive also permitted district tour of ministers along with those of officials of the state government. . However, relaxation is not applicable to districts where any repoll is pending.

The EC sent communication to the chief secretaries and chief electoral officers of these states on Sunday

Explaining the scope of relaxation, the directive adds that the review and implementation of ongoing programmes can be resumed. Even bids can be called for, evaluated and finalised and contracts awarded for various government works, except in the three states where assembly elections are being held – Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim.

Recently, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had made public his reservations about the EC’s order which disallowed officers from accompanying him and other ministers even on official tours. Gogoi had took objection to the cancellation of his daily briefings by the top security officials in the state.

Besides Assam, polling has completed in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya.

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