Model code of conduct stops Dalit Bandhu, sari distribution

Update: 2023-10-10 15:32 GMT

Hyderabad: The state government’s flagship schemes of Dalit Bandhu and distribution of Bathukamma saris were hit due to the enforcement of the model code of conduct for the upcoming state Assembly elections, with many district collectors reporting that they halted proceedings.

The Bathukamma festival is scheduled to be held from October 14, for which the state government was to distribute 1.02 crore saris. The distribution started a few days ago, but collectors on Tuesday reported they stalled the same.

The government spent Rs 300 crore and hired weavers from Sircilla to design and produce 250 different designs of saris, in 10 colours, for Bathukamma. Around 50 per cent of the saris were also dispatched to the distribution centres last week and distribution started at a few places.

Similarly, the second phase of Dalit Bandhu was also suspended, with officials not accepting new beneficiaries.

The action comes after members of the Congress, namely Uttam Kumar Reddy, had complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI), calling for the schemes to be stalled given the model code of conduct was in force.

Following the complaints, the ECI asked all district collectors to inquire about the distribution of Bathukamma saris and Dalit Bandhu, and submit a report. Many district collectors informed the ECI that they stalled the government schemes.

A district collector said that they stopped the Dalit Bandhu proceedings and refused to upload applications on the day. “I instructed all MPDOs and ED SC not to issue any orders,” the collector said.


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