As the state gears up for assembly elections, the district election department will keep an eye on every large-scale Navratri event, especially the ones organised by local political leaders. Although politicians are allowed to attend these events, they cannot use the dais to campaign for elections.
The district election department will be keeping an eye on every large-scale Navratri event to ensure that politicians don’t use it as a platform to campaign for the upcoming assembly elections. Pic for representation
“We have already instructed politicians that they should not attend any religious event in the district during model code of conduct (MCC), if their aim is to campaign about the assembly elections,” said Seema Holkar, tehsildar and deputy district election officer.
As the Navratri festival begins from today, various cultural events are expected to be organised across the district. For years, many of these events have been organised by political parties. “Netas can display banners of their event, but they cannot display their photo, name or symbols of their political party on it. Any such incident will be considered a violation of model code of conduct,” added Holkar.
Keeping a watch
While instructions have been given to political parties to follow the code of conduct, officials at the district election department say that netas will not leave any opportunity to campaign for the elections. “Our surveillance teams – Video View Wing (VVW), Flying Squad Team (FST) and Static Surveillance Team (SST) – deployed in every area will keep a watch on the upcoming Navratri events,” said Holkar. The officer added that the three teams started operating from the time the model code of conduct came in to effect on September 12.
“The VVW and FST teams are scanning every constituency and take videos of major events taking place in the area. The SST team will also scrutinise the money spent on these events.”
If the surveillance team reports any incident, or if any citizen files a complaint about any violation, the district’s model code of conduct department will take action against the candidate and party, added Holkar.