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Delhi poll code of conduct shadow over Obama visit

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to hold a final meeting with officials on Monday to announce the poll schedule for legislative Assembly elections in Delhi, later in the week.

With that announcement, the model code of conduct will commence. The question, however, is with US President Barack Obama arriving to the capital as chief guest for Republic Day, how will the election process in Delhi affect the visit ?

The code of conduct prevents an outgoing government from making any policy announcements or spending excessive amount of money.

But some amount of bandobast for Republic Day is inevitable. Officials say money has already been set aside for the parade as it is organised by the Union ministries of home and defence.

However, if the ruling Narendra Modi government attempts to exhort residents to clean Delhi for the Obama visit using the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan plank, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress can legitimately raise questions about the model code of conduct being in place.

Questions could also be raised about whether the code has been violated as the administration cleans up places that the Obama family intends to visit. Obviously, roads will have to relaid and the environs spruced up for the visit. It is as yet uncertain where the family will visit.

But it is certain that the poll code of conduct will be in place in Delhi before January 24, the day the First Family of the US lands in India.

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