Officials warned against being "over friendly" with parties

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar on Saturday warned government officials of “strong action” if the officials tried to be “over friendly” to any political party or violated the model code of conduct.

He made this observation while responding to questions of reporters at a press conference at the Secretariat regarding a function said to have been organised in Alandur — an assembly constituency in which by-elections are to be held on April 24 along with Lok Sabha polls — on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Mr Praveen Kumar clarified that there was no bar on individuals holding events or functions but there should be no distribution of freebies to participants of such events. If a political party had to conduct a function, it had to take permission from the authorities concerned.

On the seizure of unaccounted cash, he said that as per the status on Thursday, Rs. 37 lakh (approx.) had been seized from individuals in the Nilgiris and Namakkal districts.

As for the removal of hoardings carrying the images of political leaders or masking of such images on government facilities or buildings, the CEO said three days had been given to local officials to carry out the task.

On the special enrolment camps to be conducted throughout the state on Sunday, the CEO said eligible persons who wanted to have their names included in the electoral roll should go to their respective polling booths, with one photograph each and documents to support their address of residence. If the applicants were aged less than 25 years of age, they should also produce documents in support of their age.

The camps would be held at all 60,418 designated polling booths across the State between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Electors could check whether their names had been included in the rolls. For their convenience, the rolls would be pasted on the walls of the booths, the CEO added.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National