THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Election Commission and the state government have reached an understanding to ensure that the enforcement of the model code of conduct does not bring the governance to a halt in the flood-hit Kerala during the poll days.
The state government has formed a screening committee headed by the Chief Secretary as its head to see whether all the files and proposals from various departments have to be sent to the office of the chief electoral officer to get clearance.
Speaking to Express, Chief Secretary Tom Jose said the committee will forward only the proposals from various departments that require the mandatory clearance from the CEO. Other files and proposals will be dealt by the committee itself after a routine vetting and all the departments have been directed to send their proposals or files to the committee. The routine works of various departments do not need the clearance of the CEO, he said.
It is expected funding of the already announced projects or giving clearance to them would not be affected by the enforcement of the model code of conduct.
Only the new announcement and launch of new schemes and projects which can influence the voters will have to be put on hold. Earlier, various departments used to send all their files to the office of the CEO to get his clearance or to know whether the scheme or proposal would be a violation of the model of conduct.
Unfortunately, the office of the CEO which would be occupied by the holding of the smooth and peaceful election, hardly gets any time to go through the file, resulting in the breakdown of governance during the poll days.
According to Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, there is no need to send all the files of various departments to the office of the CEO and the committee formed by the state government will have to send only the files that require the clearance of the CEO, he said.
The state government has announced a slew of projects as part of rebuilding the state and rehabilitating the flood-affected people in the state in the post-flood budget.
Naturally, there is a chance for levelling allegations against certain projects and schemes as the flood-affected are direct beneficiaries of the schemes and projects.
So this committee will ensure all the government departments need not seek the permission of the CEO to go ahead with certain decisions during the model code period, said officials.