In a major set-back to TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Election Commission of India, today issued an order stating that the poll code of conduct comes into force as soon as a state assembly is prematurely dissolved. Normally, the poll code comes into operation from the time of the ECI issues Election Schedule. But now, it says for the first time the code attracts even earlier after premature dissolution of a state assembly.
Rao had earlier this month had dissolved the assembly nine months before its term was to end. The ECI is yet to indicate when it will be reacdy to conduct polls. This order forbid the caretaker state government
This means that neither the caretaker state government nor the central government can announce any new schemes, projects, for the state where the assembly has been dissolved. Also, the caretaker chief minister and other ministers cannot use official resources for any non-official purposes, combine official visit with electioneering work.
The commission has based its decision on a Supreme Court verdict in 1994, which made it clear that caretaker governments should “merely” carry on the day-to-day government and “desist from taking any major policy decision”.
Ministers are also barred from participating in events to launch projects or lay foundation stones, promise new projects or make ad-hoc appointments that could give the ruling party an unfair advantage.
KCR’s son and IT Minister K T Rama Rao, who was scheduled to participate in several inguaruation programmes today in Mahaboobnagar district, had distanced from such programmes due to this ECI notification.