Lok Sabha Elections: Commission's vigil extends to mehndi and wedding events

11:07 AM Mar 24, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, families in Udupi and Mangaluru districts find themselves grappling with a new set of regulations affecting their family events. The Election Commission’s stringent code of ethics now demands explicit permission for such gatherings, posing a significant challenge for residents.


Under the watchful eye of the Election Commission, even family celebrations such as weddings, mehndi ceremonies, feasts, birthdays, and housewarmings are subject to scrutiny. The Commission fears that political figures may exploit these auspicious occasions for their electoral campaigns, hence necessitating permission for all events involving a considerable gathering.

Both urban and rural areas are currently in the midst of the festive season, with various religious and social events like marriages, housewarming ceremonies, and Brahma Kalashotsavas taking place. Consequently, the Commission has mandated obtaining permission for any event involving a significant number of attendees. Event organizers, as well as owners of venues like hotels, halls, and resorts, are instructed to provide clear information on this matter.

To enforce compliance, District-level Flying Squads are tasked with monitoring any violations of the code of conduct under the guise of activities such as marriages. They oversee all auspicious events at the local level, ensuring that venues aren’t misused for political purposes. If any such misuse is detected, swift action is promised against the venue owners.

Moreover, the presence of candidates and political leaders at these events has come under scrutiny. While it’s customary to invite them as guests, they are strictly prohibited from engaging in any political activities or using party symbols during such gatherings. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action under the violation of the code of conduct.


Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada Santosh Kumar emphasized that permission should be sought for all private events, including marriages and naming ceremonies, without exception. The process has been streamlined through a single-window system to facilitate ease of application.

To obtain permission, applicants can submit their requests along with necessary documents at designated offices. Additionally, the Suvidha portal of the government offers an online option for seeking permission.

Residents of Beltangady Constituency, Moodbidire, Mangaluru City North, Mangaluru South Constituency, Mangaluru, Bantwal, and Puttur can approach their respective administrative buildings for permission. For further inquiries, the district administration has set up a dedicated election control room reachable at 1950.

While private events within the confines of one’s home with limited family members do not require permission, the mandate for obtaining approval for larger gatherings remains in force.

The imposition of these regulations has sparked concerns among rural communities, particularly in areas like Hebri Taluk. Villagers find themselves having to travel significant distances, up to 90 kilometers, to Kundapur for obtaining permission due to the lack of local surveillance centers. They advocate for establishing such facilities closer to their communities to alleviate the burden.

In light of the current circumstances, District Collectors Dr. K. Vidyakumari of Udupi and Mullai Mugilan of D.K. District underscore the importance of adhering to the Election Commission’s directives. They urge residents to cooperate with authorities to ensure smooth conduct of both electoral processes and traditional festivities.


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