Though the dates for civic polls were announced on Thursday, the state election commission said the model code of conduct will be implemented only from Monday. This is the first time such a decision has been taken. Normally, the code comes into force the same day the dates are announced.
Sources said this will give the political parties time to make announcements, inaugurations or take new policy decisions.
As soon as the announcement was made, the BJP-led MCD said a special Standing Committee meeting will be held on Friday to clear a proposal pertaining to purchasing 11,580 sewing machines for widows.Many councillors too were caught off guard by this decision. Many had inaugurated several projects on Thursday itself.
“I inaugurated several projects such as drainage work in Ashok Vihar, Keshavpuram and renaming of many chowks on Thursday itself. Now that the model code will come into effect from Monday, I have ample time to inaugurate other projects in my ward,” said Mahender Nagpal, chairman of MCD’s education committee. Sources said more than 100-odd inaugurations of minor and major projects took place on Thursday.
When quizzed why the model code of conduct will come into force on Monday, the State Election Commissioner said there is no law which makes it mandatory for the code to come in effect the same day. “There were a lot of ongoing projects and we didn’t want to disturb them,” said Rakesh Mehta, State election commissioner.