Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena has issued instructions for the removal of government advertisements from public spaces with immediate effect.
All Central and State government advertisements, including hoardings, that were in violation of the model code of conduct should be removed from public spaces in the State, Mr. Meena told the Local Self-Government Department and District Collectors on Thursday.
Advertisements placed on Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses, government buildings and websites should also be removed, Mr. Meena said. The CEO held a high-level meeting of top State police officers and other senior officials as part of ensuring strict enforcement of the code of the conduct in the run-up to the general election.
The Income Tax (IT) Department will keep close tabs on election expenses of candidates and political parties during the campaign for the Lok Sabha election in the State. The department has constituted a special team on the directions of the Election Commission.
The team is empowered to seize cash and other items worth over ₹10 lakh. As many as 20 teams will be deployed across the State. The teams will be headed by officers of the rank of Joint Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner.
The teams, with two income tax officers and three inspectors each, will operate in tandem with district-level flying squads.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department has handed over a list of officials to be deployed as election observers. Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena has convened a meeting of officials from the Police, Forest, Customs and Central Excise, State Excise and Income Tax departments at 11 a.m. on March 19.