EC raps govt: ‘keep plan on hold in Gujarat, HP’

EC

Stating that the announcement of the direct cash transfer scheme could have been avoided while the poll process is underway in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Election Commission on Tuesday asked the Centre to put off its implementation in the two states.

"The commission is of the considered opinion that the aforesaid announcement was avoidable during the currency of the election process, going by the letter and spirit of the model code of conduct," said the EC order.

"The commission further directs that all follow-up and consequential steps towards the implementation of the scheme in respect of the four districts in Gujarat and the two districts in Himachal Pradesh, which are proposed to be covered in the first phase of implementation of the scheme, shall be kept in abeyance till completion of the election process," it said.

The EC pointed out that the government's response was silent on why it had been necessary to make the announcement at this juncture.

"It is not a slap, it is not a snub, not even a negative comment," said Congress spokesperson P C Chacko.

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