The Election Commission of India (ECI) yesterday relaxed the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the on going Lok Sabha elections following the state governments plea to enable it to carry out drought relief works in drought hit regions of the state. In its communique to the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra, Ashwani Kumar, the ECI however has put a rider stating that no staff engaged in counting of votes (counting of votes is on May 23) shall accompany the Ministers who are on tour of drought hit regions. However, it was all quite at Mantralaya yesterday with none of the ministers around and the officers were awaiting the official correspondence from the ECI.
This follows Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis writing to the ECI on April 30 seeking relaxation of the poll code so that the state could carry out relief measures. The poll body in its reply noted the fact that the phase wise polling for all the 48 Lok Sabha seats is over and hence keeping in mind the involvement of public interest, it has no objection to the proposal of the Chief Minister. Till the time of going to the press, there was no official communication from the Chief Secretary's office about convening the regular weekly cabinet meeting that is normally held on Tuesday. Sources added that even now the implementation of the drought relief measures depend on the district collectors and administration.