Political leaders organising feasts or distributing gifts will face action

The strict enforcement of the model code of conduct may cast a shadow on political parties’ plans for Ugadi on March 31.

Authorities have warned candidates against organising feasts for the public. Usually, political leaders organise feasts for their supporters on the day of Ugadi or the next day, on Varshatodaku. However, political leaders organising feasts or distributing gifts and clothes would face action as the poll code is in force, an official told The Hindu. Authorities had issued similar instructions during the Assembly elections last year.

To check violations, flying squads have been constituted in each Assembly constituency. “Each team will comprise an executive magistrate, three policemen and a videographer.”

Teams will keep tabs on each programme organised or participated in by the candidate. No organisation will be allowed to organise Ugadi programmes on a large scale, without the permission of the officials concerned or poll authorities, the official said.

“We will also keep a close eye on pre-Ugadi celebrations. If a candidate or a party is found to be guilty, we will take appropriate action against them.”

The Returning Officers in all constituencies have given clear directions to all parties that neither their candidates nor their office-bearers can organise Ugadi celebrations.

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