HYDERABAD: In what could apply to Telangana now, the Election Commission on Thursday said the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) would come into effect immediately after premature dissolution of a state Legislative Assembly.
Though the ECI’s directive is general in nature, the decision assumes importance for Telangana, where the TRS government led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is continuing as a caretaker government after dissolving the State Assembly on September 6 before its term came to an end.
The caretaker government can neither announce new schemes nor inaugurate the completed schemes.
In a communication to the Cabinet Secretary, and Chief Secretaries of all the States, the ECI said that in the event of premature dissolution of any State Assembly, the Model Code of Conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the State concerned and shall continue to be in force till a new government is in place.
Immediately after the ECI directive, IT Minister KT Rama Rao dropped his plans to inaugurate development works in Nagarkurnool on Thursday.
‘Rythu Bandhu cheques, saree distribution will go as planned’
KT Rama Rao was supposed to lay foundation stones to new works like construction of underground drainage and others. “We have to respect the EC. That is why I have cancelled the programme,” Rama Rao said at a public meeting in Nagarkurnool.
However, according to sources the ongoing schemes would not be affected. The State government has planned to distribute more than one crore Bathukamma sarees from October 12 and Rythu Bandhu cheques in October/November. Sources said these two schemes would not be affected, as they were launched earlier. However, the State government had to defer its plans to inaugurate Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme and Mission Bhagiratha. Now, the State government has to take the prior approval from the ECI for every scheme. Without EC clearance, the State could not take up any work.
It may be recalled that the TRS government since dissolution of the Assembly had been very careful. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had directed his Ministers not to participate in any official programme. Accordingly several Ministers cancelled their programmes.
“Programmes like Rythu Bandhu and Bathukamma sarees are continuous process of the government. The EC code will not affect them. The government will also announce interim relief (IR) to State government employees,” Finance Minister E Rajender said.
Fresh directive by Election Commission
While issuing the fresh directive, the ECI referred the past observation of the Supreme Court in SR Bommai and others Vs Union of India and others case in 1994. “The ECI considered the matter of application of MCC in the case of premature dissolution of Legislative Assembly, where a caretaker government has been asked to carry on the administration of that State/UT for the purposes of free, fair, transparent and robust electoral process,” according to ECI principal secretary Narendra N Butolia.
MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) shall come into operation with immediate effect and will be in force till the completion of the election
The MCC shall apply to the caretaker State government as well as the Centre
Caretaker governments at both levels shall not announce any new schemes and projects