KOCHI: It is a ‘pity’ that around 40,000 applications for financial help from the Chief Minister’s relief fund are awaiting sanction of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), said M T Thomas, member of the State Committee of National Campaign For People’s Right To Information (NCPRI-Kerala) here on Tuesday.
“All the pending applications were cleared before the election code of conduct come into force. However, due to the over-enthusiasm of the Chief Election Commission, the poor are forced to wait for more than 75 days to receive financial assistance, for no fault of theirs,” he said in a statement, adding that denial of aid citing the code of conduct was deplorable.
“There are poor persons suffering from terminal illness, who need financial assistance. Who will be responsible if any of them die due to non-receipt of the assistance that has already been sanctioned,” he said.
All the 40,000 applicants, irrespective of caste and creed, are very poor persons waiting for the mercy of the Government.
“What right does the CEO have to deny them their fundamental right. He might be having technical background.
But, there should also be humanitarian consideration,” Thomas said, adding that it was a pity that Opposition parties who say that they stand for the poor and downtrodden have objected to disbursement of the aid on political grounds.
“I appeal to the CEO to immediately clear all the 40,000 applications awaiting his clearance, and request the Opposition parties not to raise objection to it, as members of all parties are in the list,” said the statement.
Thomas also appealed to advocates who take up public interest litigations to move the High Court against the ‘high-handed’ attitude of the CEO.
“Alternatively, the High Court itself should come to the rescue of the poor who are awaiting mercy of the Chief Electoral Officer,” he added.