The government on Monday said it has not violated any part of the Model Code of Conduct while launching the direct cash transfer scheme ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections.
In its reply to a notice from the Election Commission of India, the government said that the ambitious direct cash transfer scheme was announced in the budget speech by former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in March only and the first press release on the matter from the PMO was issued on September 28, while the date for the Gujarat elections were announced later on October 3.
Talking to reporters on the issue Union Information and Telecommunication Minister Kapil Sibal said: "The government believes that it has neither directly or indirectly violated the election code because the policy announcement was made way back in the budget speech by the then finance minister and it is only an implementation of that announcement."
Sibal further stated that a detailed reply would be file from the government's on the questions raised by the Election Commission on the issue.
The EC had sought a report from the Cabinet Secretary on Sunday expressing its unhappiness and questioning the timing of the implementation of the scheme. The EC has said that it will decide on the matter at an appropriate time.
The government had announced the direct cash transfer scheme previous week to cut down leakages and corruption in the implementation of various social sector schemes in 51 districts in 14 states of the country including four district in the poll-bound Gujarat in the first phase. (ANI)