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Drought relief can continue: EC

Stating that the code of conduct would not be an impediment to drought relief, Election Commissioner B B Tandon said that drought relief works like water supply schemes would continue during polls. He was speaking a day prior to World Water Day, even as shortages begin to make themselves felt across many parts of India.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2004 11:27 IST

Stating that the code of conduct would not be an impediment to drought relief, Election Commissioner B B Tandon on Sunday said that drought relief works like water supply schemes, grain supply and employment works would continue uninterrupted during the polls.

"The Election Commission feels that relief work should not be affected and there should be no hardship to people", Tandon said while cautioning that no minister or functionary of the government should be associated with management of the drought relief.

Speaking to newspersons after convening a meeting of leaders of political parties, senior administration officials here, Tandon, however said that the state government will have to take permission of the EC in case it wishes to notify any more districts as `drought affected'.

Replying to a question, he dismissed the complaints of political parties that the bureaucracy was adhering to the code of conduct rather too strictly, thus affecting the drought relief work.

"There is no substance in such complaints. In fact the code of conduct is being implemented in true letter and spirit", Tandon said when his attention was drawn to complaint made by several parties in the legislature.

He also clarified that no political party raised this issue during his meeting today.

Tandon said he was also not aware of the letter which the Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde claimed to have sent to the EC airing grievances of political parties about drought relief work.

First Published: Mar 22, 2004 10:58 IST