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EC grounds Uma's plans

Election Commission has denied Uma Bharti the permission to use an official plane to fly to Ujjain during to attend the Simhastha-Kumbha Mela.
PTI | By Ashutosh Shukla, Bhopal
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2004 07:01 PM IST

The Election Commission is not impressed by the Madhya Pradesh Government’s entreaty on behalf of Chief Minister Uma Bharti to use an official plane or chopper for flying to Ujjain to atten dthe Simhastha-Kumbh Mela.

Rejecting the Chief Secretary’s request to this effect, the Election Commission ruled in its order on April 1 last that Chief Minister Uma Bharti could review preparations for the Mela with the Chief Secretary and DGP, who, in turn, could hold meetings with the district officials.

Chief Secretary B K Saha in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on March 10 had contended that “considering the significance and complexity of Simhastha-Kumbh Mela, the Chief Minister would be required to visit Ujjain on many occasions or to hold important meetings considered necessary for coordination and monitoring. Since such visits are absolutely necessary and distinct from conduct of elections or campaign for elections, it is requested that the Chief Minister may be allowed to undertake official tours to Ujjain and to use State plane/helicopter and/ or cars to visit Ujjain in relation to the Simhastha-Kumbh Mela”.         

While the Election Commission approved a majority of construction works in connection with Simhastha, it restrained the State Government from creating the proposed corpus of Rs 3 crore. The Election Commission said that the State Government could create a corpus of a maximum Rs one crore for the purpose.     

Also, in a letter on March 16, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the State had communicated to the State Government decision of the Election Commission not to allow its request for change in menu of food being served to school children under Mid-day Meal Scheme.

Principal Secretary, Rural Development, K T Chako, in a latter to the CEO on March 12 had requested to allow the State Government change the menu to cooked dal-roti or vehgetable-roti or rice-dal-vegetable in place of porridge. The menu was changed in some select schools (mostly in tribal areas) in February itself.

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