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Can't Naidu Continue To Act Like CM?

Can't Naidu Continue To Act Like CM?

Soon after the Election Commission of India announces schedule for any elections in the state, the model code of conduct comes into force.

As such, the chief minister and his council of ministers cease to exercise their powers in their official capacity.

The model code of conduct says the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues are not supposed to take part in any official programmes except those like attending to relief and rescue operations during natural calamities or major accidents.

They are not expected to take up any programmes that concern with release of money from the contingency fund.

So, when Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu started attending to official programmes like review of progress of works in Polavaram major irrigation project and works in Amaravati state capital, the YSR Congress party raised a serious objection.

According to them, Naidu ceases to be the chief minister and he or his cabinet colleagues are not supposed to conduct any official meetings. So, the meetings on Polavaram and Amaravati amount to violation of model code of conduct, they argued.

The EC, too, is understood have written to Naidu not to do any official reviews as it amounts to violation of poll code.

But the chief minister has a different argument. He says the elections were held on April 11 and there was no way he could take any decisions that would influence the voters now.

Secondly, he is only reviewing the progress of works of Polavaram and Amaravati and asking the officials to speed up the works to complete the projects as per schedule.

“The government is not making any financial commitments to anybody. How can it amount to violation of poll code?” Naidu asked.

But as per the EC rules, poll code will be in force till the results are declared. So, Naidu is only a caretaker CM without any powers.

Interestingly, the same EC has been keeping silent despite complaints by the opposition in the case of Telangana chief minister who is regularly conducting review meetings at Pragati Bhavan on Kaleshwaram irrigation project, restructuring of revenue department, changes to be made in municipal act, roads and buildings etc.

So, why different rules in different states?

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Tags: Chandrababu Naidu Election Commission KCR Polavaram