Bar on Ministers using Government guesthouses

Special Correspondent

State Election Commission issues directives on this to Collectors

HYDERABAD: The State Election Commission has made it clear that Government guest houses cannot be used for election purposes, and asked Collectors to prevent any such instance till completion of the Panchayat Raj polls. SEC Secretary G. N. Rao told reporters here on Thursday that the model code of conduct prohibited use of Government accommodation for election propaganda. The code was applicable to municipal corporations and municipalities too. In case such activities were outside the Government/Municipal guesthouses, no objection could be taken as legitimate political activities cannot be interfered with, he added.

In a related development, a TDP delegation led by former Minister K. Vijayarama Rao, Lal Jan Basha, MP, and others met State Election Commissioner A. V. S. Reddy and complained about the alleged violation of the code by Minister of State for Defence M. Pallam Raju, Animal Husbandry Minister Gollapudi Surya Rao and two Congress MLAs-- Mutha Gopala Krishna and Gudipudi Chittabbai.

They complained that the Union Minister stayed at the R&B Guesthouse in Kakinada and conducted an election strategy meeting with Mr. Gopala Krishna and other Congress leaders. Mr. Surya Rao convened a similar meeting at the Panchayat Raj guesthouse at Amalapuram in East Godavari district. The Commissioner later directed the Collector to look into the complaints and send a report immediately. Addressing reporters, the TDP leaders said they would stage demonstrations in all districts as the Congress was violating the code.

They alleged that the commission's orders were observed more in breach.