THE STATE Election Commission on Tuesday granted conditional permission to the programme of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav in Meerut on September 27 for the distribution of unemployment allowance and Kanya Vidya Dhan. The commission said other ministers would not be allowed to attend the programme because of the announcement of civic elections.
Acting on the request of the Chief Minister’s Office and commissioner of Meerut, election commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh said the date of the programme was decided much before the notification of the civic elections. Singh, however, banned any announcement and foundation-laying ceremony at the programme.
The additional commissioner Vinay Priya Dubey said some ministers, including Rajpal Tyagi and Kiran Pal Singh, had also sought permission to attend the programme but the request was rejected.
Besides, in detailed guidelines sent to the government the commission put a blanket ban on politicians distributing government largesse in the run-up to the civic elections. The commission has, however, allowed the administrative officers to take up the responsibility.
The commission said that in order to maintain impartiality in the election, the officers could distribute unemployment allowance, Kanya Vidya Dhan or other similar funds. Singh said such arrangement would not provide opportunity to other political parties to complain against the government. Issuing orders asking the government to stick to the model code of conduct, Singh said the election could be countermanded for the violation of the code.
Singh also issued instructions to the divisional commissioners, district magistrates and police officers, banning any government announcement for people’s welfare, foundation stone ceremony and floating of tender notices, without the commission’s permission.
He said the district administration would maintain vigil on theses issues and report to the commission immediately in case of violation of the guidelines. The commission banned distribution of Kanya Vidya Dhan by minor irrigation minister Shakir Ali in Deoria. Singh said that maintenance of communal harmony during the election process would be the responsibility of politicians including ministers, officers and others. Singh said there should not be any personal attack on the rival parties during campaigning. Singh said holding civic elections was a constitutional necessity and it should be held after five years.