RULING IN favour of the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh, the Election Commission (EC) passed an order on Thursday stating that any money transfer under the ‘Pasupu Kumkuma’ scheme will not violate the Model Code of Conduct.
The order was passed at the behest of the Delhi High Court, which had asked the Commission to decide a complaint that alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government was set to violate the Model Code of Conduct by transferring the last instalment of Rs 4,000 to beneficiaries under the ‘Pasupu Kumkuma’ scheme ahead of the first phase on polling on April 11.
Launched in February, Pasupu Kumkuma aims to provide financial help to women registered with self-help groups. Each beneficiary is provided Rs 10,000 cash and a smart phone.
“According to the scheme, about 93 lakh women will be benefitted and the financial help was to be paid in three separate instalments within three months. It is alleged two instalments of Rs 6,000 has already been paid and the last instalment is likely to be paid on 05.04.2019,” the petition said.
The petitioner objected to the release of the last instalment ahead of the first phase of polling and pleaded that it should be held in abeyance till voting ends.
The Commission, in its order, is learnt to have observed that the Model Code of Conduct does not come in the way to schemes that have been launched before it kicked in, especially if the beneficiaries have been identified beforehand and, hence, any money transfer under the Pasupu Kumkuma cannot be seen as a violation of the poll code.