The branch was sanctioned by the Union Finance Ministry before the notification of Lok Sabha polls by the Election Commission.

Officials prevented the inauguration of a new branch of Canara Bank with automated teller machine (ATM) at Kulavaipatti in Alangudi Assembly constituency of Sivaganga Lok Sabha segment here on Wednesday.

The branch was sanctioned by the Union Finance Ministry before the notification of Lok Sabha polls by the Election Commission.

But the delay by the bank in opening the branch has made officials to stop the inauguration of the branch as the model code of conduct has already come into force.

Flying squad officials, who prevented the opening of the branch, said that prior permission should be obtained from the Retuning Officer of the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency before opening it.

Congress workers, who had gathered at the village, wanted the branch to be opened. AIADMK workers too rushed to the spot.

Police and poll officials intervened and urged the bank officials to close the doors of the branch and the ATM.