The Election Commission has sought explanation from the home ministry for deciding on a fresh compensation for 1984 anti-Sikh riots during the model code of conduct because of by-polls in the three assembly segments in the Capital.
The poll watchdog had announced polls for Krishna Nagar, Mehrauli and Tughaqabad with that for Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand on last Saturday kicking off the model code of conduct in the three states.
Sources said that the EC dashed off a letter to the home ministry seeking the reason for the decision after the model code of conduct came into force. The government decision is being seen as an attempt of the BJP led Centre to influence voters in the Capital and Jammu and Kashmir.
The home ministry has decided to give Rs five lakh as compensation to each of the next of the kin of 3,325 victims of the anti-Sikh riot victims in addition to the money received by them from the government. The government decision apparently taken a week ago came into light on Thursday even though no official announcement was made by the ministry.
Of the total victims, 2,733 were killed in Delhi while the rest were from states such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The compensation could cost the government Rs 166 crore.
The EC will, however, take a call on whether the government decision amounted to violation of the model code after receiving the home ministry’s reply. It was a suo-motto decision of the commission to seek explanation from the ministry as not even a single political party had lodged a complaint against the government.