EC bans free colour TV distribution in Tamilnadu

CHENNAI: A day after the announcement of the date for the state assembly election, Tamil Nadu’s chief electoral officer Wednesday ordered district collectors and heads of various state government departments to immediately stop distribution of colour television sets, one of the ruling DMK’s pet projects.

Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar warned officials of severe disciplinary action if the rule was flouted.

Polls for the 234-member house will be held April 13.

The free colour television scheme was one of the populist promises made by the DMK in its manifesto for the 2006 assembly elections.

The DMK government has procured over 1.5 million television sets at an outlay of over Rs.3,500 crore.

Speaking to IANS, Kumar said the ban is applicable to other schemes of the state government including the housing scheme – conversion of thatched huts into concrete houses.

"Where the work has begun, there it can go on without any hindrance. The ban is applicable only in cases where work has not begun. The colour TVs can be distributed after the elections," Kumar said.

The Tamil Nadu government allocated a sum of Rs.2,250 crore last fiscal under the Kalaignar Veedu Vazhangum Thittam, a dream project of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

In the interim budget of 2011-2012, Rs.375 crore have been allocated to convert 250,000 huts into concrete houses in town panchayats.

The scheme aims to convert 2.1 million thatched huts into concrete homes over a period of six years.(IANS)

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