Within hours of the Election Commission announcing the assembly election schedule, complaints of alleged violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) have been received by it in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, a senior official said in Chennai.
“Three complaints of violation of MCC have come so far,” Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni said in his first press conference in the state capital after the Commission announced the schedule.
While he did not specify the nature of all complaints, he said that one of them pertained to distribution of tokens for availing of benefit under a government scheme in Tuticorin.
The CEO, however, did not elaborate.
Announcing the schedule for election to five state assemblies, the EC earlier in the day said Tamil Nadu will have a single phase polling on May 16.
Lakhoni said that since the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect, the EC has set in motion various related works including setting up of check posts.
Out of the proposed 1400-odd check posts, 702 have come into effect on Friday, he said adding select number of flying squads, comprising Police and Revenue officials, had also been pressed into service.
Responding to traders taking exception to seizure of their monies during Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Lakhoni said proper documents should be taken while carrying cash. Any amounts of cash meant for political activity “will be checked.”
Further, the EC has introduced an appeal mechanism this time to make things easier for them (traders), he added.
Henceforth, all campaign activities of political parties should be undertaken only after EC approval, which can be done online, the CEO said.
As regards government schemes and projects, no new initiatives can be announced while commenced ones can be carried forward, he said.
In the case of distribution of financial assistance to the victims of the December 2015 flood, he said the EC had already made it clear that its approval should be sort for it.
Over three lakh staff and personnel will be involved in the electoral exercise. Counting of votes is on May 19.
A multi-cornered fight is on the cards with arch rivals AIADMK and DMK preparing to slug it out in a make or break battle even as DMDK, BJP and the four-party bloc, People’s Welfare Front (PWF) are also fancying their chances to form government.