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Telangana CM violated poll code, defer Rythu Bharosa payment: EC

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NEW DELHI, May 7: The Election Commission on Tuesday directed the Telangana government to defer payments under the Rythu Bharosa scheme till Lok Sabha polls are held in the state on May 13, saying chief minister Revanth Reddy violated the model code of conduct by referring to the payouts in his public speeches.

In a letter to the Telangana chief electoral officer, the Commission said Reddy had violated the model code of conduct by publicly speaking about the ensuing disbursement under the scheme on or before May 9.

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Elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana will be held in the fourth phase on May 13.

“In the above premise and clear violation of Model Code of Conduct by Revanth Reddy, President Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and star campaigner and Chief Minister, the Commission has directed that disbursement of balance instalment under the Rythu Bharosa scheme for Rabi season of 2023 will be effected only after completion of poll in the state of Telangana on 13.05.2024,” the Commission said.

It also expressed concern over attempts to politicise the ongoing scheme during the elections and held that such actions were deemed as attempts to influence voters and disturb the level playing field.

The commission noted that similar directives were issued for the Rayathu Bandhu scheme during the Telangana assembly elections in 2023 on the condition that no new beneficiaries will be added to the scheme and the disbursement of instalments will be done without any publicity.

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The commission had asked the the Telangana government to make payments through bank transfers and that no public function or political functionary will be involved in the process.

The scheme has been renamed as Rythu Bharosa by the Congress government in Telangana.

The EC noted that a minister of the erstwhile BRS government too had violated the model code of conduct by attempting to take credit for the scheme’s disbursement during the election period. (PTI)

 

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