Budget 2017: Do not announce schemes related to 5 poll-bound states, Election Commission to Centre

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New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2017 1:06:23 AM

EC issues order thereby preventing the NDA government to highlight achievements of poll bound states

ecin-exp-lIt also said in the Finance Minister’s speech, the government’s achievements in respect of the five states “will not be highlighted in any manner.” (Express file)

In what can be termed as a masterstroke by the Election Commission (EC), the body have prevented the ruling NDA government to highlight the achievements in the five poll bound states as a part of budget presentation. Earlier the Congress had accused the Modi government of luring the voters by highlighting the achievements in the poll bound states as a part of budget presentation.

“The Commission hereby directs that in the interest of free and fair elections and in order to maintain level playing field… no state-specific schemes shall be announced which may have the effect of influencing the electors of the five poll going states in favour of the ruling parties,” the EC told Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha.

It also said in the Finance Minister’s speech, the government’s achievements in respect of the five states “will not be highlighted in any manner.”

“We hope and we clearly say that it is the responsibility of the Election Commission and they must abide by their constitutional duty to ensure that polls are free and fair, that no kind of inducements which will impress upon the voter in the election in the five states would happen,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told reporters.

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Noting that the fundamental requirement for a healthy democracy is that any kind of inducements or action that vitiates free and fair poll should be avoided at all costs, he said, “We would request and believe and hope the Election Commission will live up to its constitutional responsibility.”

The Supreme Court earlier dismissed a petition seeking postponement of the Union Budget from February 1 on grounds of upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

With inputs from PTI

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