The Election Commission on Thursday said the Model Code of Conduct would be in place as soon as legislative assemblies are dissolved before the end of their term, and the caretaker government in place should not take any major policy decision. In effect, the code of conduct is in place in Telangana, where the Assembly was dissolved earlier this month.

The Election Commission said it consulted the Supreme Court’s 1994 judgement in the SR Bommai vs Union of India case before passing the directive, which has been sent to the cabinet secretary and the chief secretaries of states.

Earlier, the Model Code of Conduct would be in place only once the election schedule was announced. This convention is based on an agreement between the poll panel and the Central government on April 16, 2001, The Indian Express reported. According to the agreement, the Model Code of Conduct cannot be announced more than three weeks before the date of notification of elections.

“Neither the caretaker state government nor the central government shall announce any new schemes, projects, etc in respect of that state or undertake any of the activities prohibited under the aforesaid Part 7 of the Model Code of Conduct,” the Election Commission said.