Poll panel to decide on use of ‘Amma’ on government canteen, water bottles
Chennai: The election process for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu will formally begin with the issue of notification on March 29, a top Election Commission official said in Chennai yesterday. He also said queries regarding the use of ruling AIADMK’s name or its leader Jayalalithaa’s name on goods sold by the government have been brought to the notice of the Election Commission.
Soon after the Election Commission of India notified the polling dates for general elections across the nation, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar announced the calendar of events in the state at a press conference.
The filing of nomination would commence from March 29 and the last date for submitting nominations will be April 5.
The scrutiny of nominations will take place on April 7 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be April 9, he said.
He said that the bye-poll for Alandur Assembly constituency, caused by the resignation by ‘Panruti’ Ramachandran who was elected on DMDK ticket, would also be held on April 24 along with Lok Sabha election, Mr Kumar said.
Ramachandran, who quit his assembly seat also resigned from DMDK and later joined AIADMK.
Briefing on the enforcement of ‘Model Code of Conduct’ (MCC) which comes into force with immediate effect, he said the government cannot announce financial grants in any form or new schemes or sanction funds for new schemes.
Ministers and other political executives shall not lay foundation stones or have inaugural functions etc. of projects or scheme of any kind, he added.
Replying to a query on whether action will be taken to cover the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the ruling AIADMK in small buses and the same in former Tamil Nadu CM MGR on the Marina Beach, Mr Kumar said, “I have raised these two issues with the Election Commission and am waiting for their response on these two issues.”
As for goods sold by the government with a party’s name or symbol or leader’s name such as ‘Amma’ canteen and ‘Amma’ drinking water bottles, he said, “We thought ‘Amma’ is a generic name but still I have referred the issue with the Election Commission and am awaiting their response.”
The state has a total of 5.37 crore eligible voters, including 2.69 crore men, 2.68 crore women and 2,996 transgenders.
The Election Commission would set up 60,417 polling stations across the state for voting on April 24, he said.
Sriperumbudur and Nagapattinam were the largest and smallest constituencies in the state with 18,55,504 and 11,88,738 voters respectively, he said.
As for the Alandur bye-poll, there were 2,97,631 voters and 310 polling stations.
Mr Kumar, while giving details on the measures taken to curb bribe for vote said that ECI was going to start a campaign on ‘Vote without Note’ (Vote without taking money) and further said that people can take pictures of the act of bribery through mobile phones and send them to the Election Commission.
He also said that the action was being taken at the checkpoints along the inter-state border to stop illegal traffic of alcohol.
ECI would also from now on replace the term ‘sensitive’ polling stations with ‘critical’ stations, Mr Kumar said, adding it was in the process of identifying critical stations across the state.
Candidates using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. for mobilising support from the general public needed to request permission from the ECI, since social networking sites would be considered as using of ‘electronic media’ for polls, Mr Kumar said.