Cong suspends free laptop scheme after EC notice

Lodges complaint against CM, irrigation minister for 'violating' poll code

The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Monday announced to suspend its scheme for free laptops to students after Class XII following a notice issued by the State Chief Electoral Office.

Senior party functionary Balubhai Patel told The Indian Express that he received a call from Chief Electoral Officer ( CEO) Anita Karwal on Sunday and a written notice in this regard on Monday. "I assured Karwal that the party will follow the guidelines of the commission and the scheme will be suspended immediately," he said.

Patel said no laptop would be distributed among students till the elections were over. Over 3.57 lakh students have so far registered for the scheme.

An official in the CEO office said the directive was issued after a complaint from the BJP, claiming the scheme was in violation of the model code of conduct.

Meanwhile, the Congress filed a complaint against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state Irrigation Minister Nitin Patel, alleging they were violating the model code by distributing a booklet printed by the Narmada Water Resources, Water Conservation and Kalpsar Department of the state government.

The booklet contains photographs of Modi and Patel.

The booklet, the complaint says, carries details of a project called "Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana" and says that water schemes worth over Rs 10,000 crore have been implemented in the Saurashtra region.

The complaint adds that the booklets were published at government expenditure and these were now being distributed by BJP district units in Saurashtra for political gains.

Second case against Sanghani for flouting model code

Rajkot: A police complaint for breach of model code of conduct was registered against Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani and six other BJP leaders on Monday for distributing sarees to members of a credit society in bags carrying photographs of Sanghani and Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

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