The Election commission asked the Centre on Tuesday to stop raising the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine a year just ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls.
The diktat came immediately after oil minister Veerappa Moily announced the proposal would be taken up by cabinet “very shortly”. “I think it is likely to go up definitely from six to nine.”
After an emergency meeting chaired by chief election commissioner VS Sampath, the EC asked the ministry to stop the move as it would violate the code of conduct. Gujarat goes to polls in two phases on December 13 and 17.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been under massive pressure from all parties since the cap came into effect on September 13 as it has affected the ruling party’s image.
Moily said he had two rounds of talks with FM P Chidambaram on the impact of raising the cap. As the government will have to provide Rs. 9,000 crore more annually, Moily said, “We are working on a formula to neutralise it.”