Wednesday, 2 March 2016

EC Draws the Line to Nip Retrospective State Government Orders

CHENNAI: Faced with concerns and even complaints that back-dated orders get issued after the announcement of the election notification, the Election Commission (EC) has come up with a simple but effective way to ensure that it is not done. It has directed all Secretaries to draw a line on the GO register after the last entry - to ensure that nothing more can be added - and send an attested copy of the same within two hours of the notification’s declaration.
A communication from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni dated February 29, noted that as per the model code of conduct, no new schemes can be announced or no new orders can be issued regarding government schemes after the announcement of elections by the ECI. “However, allegations were made during previous elections that predated orders were issued even one or two days after the announcement of the elections, by making it appear that they were issued before the announcement of the polls,” the letter observed.
“To avoid such allegations, it had been decided that as soon as the elections are announced in the media, the concerned Secretaries should draw a line after the last entry of the GO register, take a photocopy of the page where such a line has been drawn and attest the same before sending it to the CEO’s office for the record.  This will ensure that any allegations of wrong doing can be addressed immediately and no false accusation can take place,” the letter added.
The CEO office also directed that the photocopy of the page be sent within two hours of the announcement in the media. “If any secretary is away from the headquarters, he/she may authorise any of his/her subordinates to attest and send the same within the above time limit”,said the letter.
It may be recalled that the past CEOs of the State, after the notification of the elections, had to dispose large number of files from various departments seeking his clarification whether to go ahead with ‘this or that work’ or whether allocations can be made or not for some scheme.
Advisory soon on plastic-free Poll Campaign in state
Chennai: The Election Commission of India has been issuing advisories, advocating a ban on the use of plastic and polythene materials in election campaigns, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) G Rajagopalan informed the HC on Monday. When the PIL, on the issue, from advocate A P Suryaprakasam came up for hearing before the first bench of Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh on Tuesday, Rajagopalan said that the last advisory was issued in March 2006. He further assured that a similar advisory will once again be issued to all political parties concerned, shortly.
Rajini in awareness drive?
Chennai: With a view to tap the popularity of super star Rajinikanth in raising awareness among voters, the Election Commission (EC) has invited the much-deified actor to feature in one of its advertisements. Should he accept the invite, he would be joining the list of cricketer Ashwin and fellow actors Siddarth and Nayanthara, who have already voiced their support for the cause. CEO Rajesh Lakhoni said that the much-adored superstar is likely to respond to the invite soon.