Tahsildars will have the keys in their possession and verify the genuineness of functions

Marriage halls in the district have been brought under the scanner following the enforcement of the model code of conduct ahead of the 16th Lok Sabha elections.

Collector L. Subramanian said authorities would ensure that the halls were being used only for conducting ‘genuine’ functions since there had been instances in the past of political parties and candidates misusing them to dole out freebies. “The keys of the marriage halls will be in the possession of Tahsildars who will verify the genuineness of the functions for which the halls are booked. Squads will carry out inspections in case we receive reports regarding misuse of the halls,” he said.

Following the enforcement of the code of conduct, political parties have begun to deface walls with graffiti and posters. Plain flex boards have been placed to cover walls containing party symbols and pictures of politicians at Arapalayam, Simakkal, New Jail Road area and Goripalayam.

“We have instructed the local body members to make sure that the walls are not defaced, or else they can remove the writings or pictures from the walls and collect the expenses incurred from the parties concerned,” he said.

The offices of the Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) had been locked to enforce the code of conduct. “Unaccounted money of more than Rs.50,000 will be seized,” he said.

A training programme was held on Friday for officers who have been assigned to man polling booths during the day-long campaign to enrol eligible voters on March 9. There would be copies of Form 6 which could be handed out to people who wanted to be included in the voters’ list. A mobile unit would ply between booths to supply copies of the form and ensure that there was no shortage of the forms.

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