Not surprisingly, the state government wants a relaxation of the model code of conduct after voting for the third and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections conclude today.
But the Election Commission (EC) is in no mood to relent, and has made it clear that the code will be in place till May 20. Ministers, who will be hoisting the national flag on Maharashtra Day on May 1, have been asked to refrain from making political speeches that day.
The state government, through Chief Secretary J S Saharia, had requested the EC to relax the code of conduct from Friday itself. But a circular issued on April 21 decreed that the occasion of Maharashtra Day should not be politicised, and speeches should be free of political content.
Instead, the state can enjoy moderate relaxation, as is given in states where polling is over for all the Lok Sabha constituencies, an official from the state wing of the EC said. Ministers aren’t particularly happy, as they want to waste no time in starting their campaign for state assembly elections, due in October this year.