Chennai: With the model code of conduct coming into force for the April 13 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, the Election Commission on Wednesday ordered stoppage of distribution of free colour TV sets, the ruling DMK's flagship scheme.
Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar also warned of "severe action" against officials found violating the code.
"District Collectors and the Heads of Departments have been asked to stop forthwith distribution of free colour TVs till the elections process is over", Kumar said in a statement in Chennai, a day after the EC announced the poll schedule.
He said officials would face severe disciplinary action if they were found to have aided the TV distribution.
The distribution of free colour TV sets was one of the freebies offered by the DMK in its election manifesto for the 2006 Assembly polls.
Government has covered a major section of the population under the scheme and it recently ordered procurement of 10 lakh CTV sets for distribution among the rest.
Officials had already distributed tokens to beneficiaries to receive the sets.
The CEO also said the Ministries and other authorities should not announce, among others, any financial grants in any form or promise construction of roads and provision of drinking water facilities.
No ad-hoc appointments in Government and Public Undertakings which 'may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power,' must be made, he said.
"Further, the ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not make use of official machinery or personnel during electioneering," he added.