The Election Commission on Tuesday asked the government to defer implementation of direct cash transfer scheme in four districts of Gujarat and two in Himachal Pradesh till polls.
The election commission said that the announcement of direct cash transfer scheme could have been avoided by government ahead of polls in Gujarat.
The election commission further said that government should have maintained letter and spirit of model code of conduct.
Government on Monday had said that it had not violated any election code of conduct in connection with its ambitious direct cash transfer scheme as it was announced in the budget speech by the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
“This (direct cash transfer) is only an implementation of an announcement that has already been made,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.
He said the government believed 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.
Sibal said the government would file a detailed reply on the questions raised by the Election Commission on the issue.
The Commission’s notice was among the issues discussed by the group of ministers on media on Monday.
The Commission had on Sunday conveyed its unhappiness to the government over announcement of its direct cash transfer scheme when the model code was in force in poll-bound Gujarat.
In a strongly-worded letter to cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, the poll authority had said the announcement could have been avoided in view of the Gujarat assembly elections later this month.
Last week, finance minister P Chidamabaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had launched the Aadhar-based direct cash transfer scheme at the Congress headquarters here and dubbed it as a “game changer”.