Hyderabad: The Election Commission on Friday directed the state government not to distribute Rythu Bandhu cheques to farmers in public programmes but credit the amount directly into their bank accounts.
With the model code of conduct in place, the EC said it had no objection to the Rythu Bandhu scheme being implemented, since it was an old one that was launched in May during the Kharif season this year.
Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar had written to the EC last week seeking clarification on distribution of Rythu Bandhu cheques after Opposition parties complained that distribution of Rs 4,000 per acre in October ahead of the Assembly polls will influence voters in favour of the ruling TRS.
The TS government had decided to launch distribution of cheques on October 5. On a similar complaint, the EC had stopped the distribution of Bathukamma saris.
With no response from the EC, the government formally launched the distribution of cheques in three villages on Friday and decided to implement it full scale from Monday. This will now be cancelled.
EC happy with preparations for polls in TS
The Election Commisson on Friday directed the TS government not to distribute Rythu Bandhu cheques to farmers in public programmes but credit the amount directly into their bank accounts.
The EC also laid down certain conditions on the Rythu Bandhu scheme. The poll panel said no public function should be organised for distribution of kits or items in kind and that no political functionary will be involved in the process of distribution.
As far as possible, direct electronic transfer of the cash component should be made through the account of the beneficiary and there should be no distribution of cheques, in this regard, the Election Commission said.
The EC on Friday reviewed the preparations for the Assembly polls in the state with Mr Rajat Kumar in Delhi on Friday.
Mr Rajat Kumar submitted a report to Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat on the preparedness of the state administration for holding polls in November.
Official sources said the EC expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made with respect to procurment of EVMs and VVPATs. It offered to send a team to the state shortly to assess the ground level situation on its own.
Sources said the team is likely to visit the state for two days starting October 10 to assess the situation. Mr Rawat is expected to visit the state after the EC team submits its report.