EC pulls up Telangana government for poll code violation over Rythu Bandhu Scheme

A state minister violated ECI norms by announcing the release of funds to farmers

election5new Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K. Chandrashekar Rao | PTI

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered the BRS government in Telangana to stop disbursing all financial aid to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu Scheme over violation of the Model Code of Conduct. 

The poll panel had earlier allowed the KCR government to proceed with disbursing the rabi instalment under the condition that it should not publish the disbursement as the poll code was in place. The funds were to be deposited in the farmers' bank accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer method before November 28.  

However, the state finance minister went ahead to make a public announcement about the release of disbursements of funds. "The disbursement will be made on Monday. Even before the farmers complete their breakfast and tea, the amount will be credited into their account," local media reports quoted.

Following this, Congress approached the Chief Election Commissioner seeking restrictions on the BRS government against mentioning the disbursement of Rythu Bandhu amount in their poll campaign.  In a letter addressed to CEC Rajiv Kumar, Congress alleged that BRS leaders are making the EC's nod as a "tool to influence" voters as if they are giving it out of their own pockets.

Following this, the Election Commissioner informed the state chief electoral officer about its decision to withdraw its permission. 

The State Agriculture Department said that 70 lakh farmers will benefit through Rythu Bandhu in this Yasangi (rabi) season. 

Telangana goes to election on November 30.

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