The Election Commission on Friday pulled up NITI Aayog for holding special gram sabhas in the five poll-bound states without seeking its permission and said such events can only be organised after the elections are over.
In a letter to Niti Aayog vice chairman, the Commission said while it is organising special gram sabhas across the country on January 26 to “outline priorities of citizens”, including in poll-bound Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab, it has not endorsed a copy to it as mandated under the model code of conduct.
“... Your office should have taken prior approval of the Commission from model code angle before before addressing a letter to district officers who are also district election officers,” the Commission said.
It made it clear that the programme cannot be held on Republic Day in these states and should only be organised once the elections are over.
The issue was raised by the chief electoral officer of Goa who had flagged it before the poll watchdog.