There will be no more free TV sets for people in Tamil Nadu at least until the assembly elections in April are over because the model code of conduct for polls set by the Election Commission has kicked in.
Within hours of the poll schedule announcement for Tamil Nadu, three other states, and the union territory of Puducherry, the Election Commission began to enforce the code, with its first order on Wednesday to halt the free distribution of colour TV sets in Tamil Nadu.
The order was issued Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar, who warned of action if his instruction was violated. Distributing colour TV sets was a promise the DMK made before the 2006 assembly elections.
“Where the work has begun, it can go on without any hindrance. The ban is applicable only in cases where work has not begun. The colour TVs can be distributed after the elections are over,” Kumar said.
The Tamil Nadu government had procured more than 1.5 million TV sets at Rs 3,500 crore to distribute one for each ration cardholder, regardless of income.
The ban applied to all other schemes that were set in motion by the state government, the CEO said. One such prominent project under implementation is the R2,250-crore Kalaignar housing scheme, which promises converting thatched huts into concrete structures.