Cash transfer plan runs foul of poll panel
In a letter to Seth on Sunday, the EC warned of appropriate action if the government didn’t respond by Monday evening. According to sources, it waited for an answer till 4 pm on Sunday.
The poll panel reportedly suggested in the letter that the government could have avoided taking such a decision until the election process was over.
The BJP had petitioned the EC alleging serious violation of the model code of conduct in the government’s scheme. Senior leaders L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj along with others had called on Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath last Friday and lodged a complaint. The Gujarat unit of the BJP had also petitioned the poll body.
The party said on Sunday that it hoped that the Election Commission will take suitable action against the government over the scheme. It also termed the “violation” of the model code a “conspiracy” to divert attention from “real issues” of corruption, scams and price rise.
Government representatives, however, have maintained that the announcement was not an electoral violation. Law Minister Ashwini Kumar told The Indian Express that it was a continuation of the decision that had been taken much earlier and was also a part of the Congress manifesto.