The Election Commission order states model code of conduct would kick in immediately after the dissolution of the state Assembly and would apply till the completion of polls.
File photo of Telangana chief minister and TRS president K Chandrashekar Rao. (PTI)
The announcement means that the model code of conduct would apply to the caretaker government of K Chandrashekhar Rao in Telangana, where the Assembly was dissolved earlier this month. Until now, it kicked in only after the Election Commission announced poll dates.
The Election Commission said it kept the Supreme Court’s 1994 judgment in the SR Bommai vs Union of India case before passing the directive, which has been sent to the cabinet secretary and the chief secretaries of states.
The order states that the caretaker government should merely carry on day-to-day work and desist from taking any major policy decision.
“The provisions of Part-VII of Model Code of Conduct, which is applicable to the party in power, will apply on the caretaker State government as well as on the Central government in so far as matters relating to that State are concerned,” the EC said in its order.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao had on September 6 announced dissolution of the state assembly and recommended holding of fresh assembly elections. It is expected that the assembly polls to the state will be held along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
The poll panel is currently in the midst of a summary revision of the electoral rolls of the state, which are due to be published on October 8, 2018.
The EC’s directive comes after opposition parties in the state, including Congress and TDP, demanded President’s rule, alleging abuse of power by KCR.
“Even if KCR (K Chandrasekhar Rao) is caretaker Chief Minister, free and fair polls will not be possible in Telangana. We demanded that elections be conducted after imposing President’s rule,” Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy had said.