July 28, 2021 5:23:28 pm
A Hyderabad-based civil society organisation wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking directions to the Telangana government to postpone implementation of the Dalit Bandhu programme in the bypoll-bound Huzurabad Assembly constituency.
In their representation to the Chief Election Commissioner, Forum for Good Governance (FGG) said the ECI should take serious note of the Chief Minister’s announcement that the scheme is being introduced for electoral gains, and also sought an inquiry into the matter as this is against the spirit of the Constitution of India.
A byelection is due in Huzurabad Assembly constituency after Health minister and MLA Etala Rajender on June 12 resigned in the wake of an inquiry into allegations of land grabbing by companies owned by his family. While the schedule for the bypoll is yet to be announced, it is likely to be held in four months. It is in the Huzurabad Assembly Constituency of Karimnagar district that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to implement his government’s flagship Dalit Bandhu scheme on a pilot basis.
M Padmanabha Reddy, secretary of the FGG, reminded the ECI that the CM has gone on record saying, “I am not a saint living in the Himalayas. I am a politician and I am introducing this scheme in Huzurabad for electoral gains only – what is wrong with it?”
Noting that a government is free to take up any developmental programmes until the model code of conduct comes into effect, Reddy said that if many schemes are announced just before a byelection, it amounts to influencing the voters with taxpayers’ money.
Forum also welcomed all the schemes being planned by the state government but questioned the intention behind implementing it first in bypoll-bound Huzurabad to lure voters.
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