BJP protests cash transfer scheme

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday described the Centre’s announcement of direct cash transfer scheme as a violation of poll code ahead of Gujarat elections. It also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) of India.

Led by L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, the BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V S Sampath and demanded the withdrawal of the scheme so that the Centre’s announcement would not influence voting in Gujarat.

“We have discussed the issue. It was a good discussion. The Election Commission has assured us that all the issues raised by us will be taken care of before taking a proper decision in this regard,” Advani told reporters after the meeting with Sampath.

In its memorandum, the BJP has urged the commission to take serious note of the “blatant” violation of the model code of conduct by the United Progressive Alliance by announcing the scheme.

Urging the EC to take immediate action, the BJP said the announcement was made with the “deliberate intention of influencing the voters” in the election process in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sought to push ahead the direct cash transfer scheme by directing various ministries and departments to immediately start working to operationalise the ambitious programme to be rolled out from January 1, next year.

In his letter to nine secretaries of the Central government, Pulok Chatterjee, principal secretary to the prime minister, said emphasis should be on having a seamless and trouble-free rollout of the programme, first in 51 districts and subsequently as per the agreed plan.

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