EC’s conditional nod to MNREGA funds for HP, Gujarat

RSTV Bureau
File photo: Rural labourers working at a site.

File photo: Rural labourers working at a site.

The Election Commission has allowed the Centre to release the second instalment of funds under the MNREGA scheme for poll-bound Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat with a rider that there will be “absolutely” no publicity in this regard, a poll panel official said today.

The Rural Development ministry had sought a no objection for releasing the second tranche of instalment under MGNREGA for 2017-18 to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

The Commission gave its nod subject to conditions that “absolutely no publicity” in any form should be carried out in this regard.

The ministry was told that no reference is to be made by any political functionary in this regard to press or public. The restrictions apply to both the Centre and the two state governments.

While the single-phase assembly election in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 9, the first phase of polls in Gujarat will take place on December 9. The second phase will be held on December 14.

The ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers was asked by the EC to defer the release of an advertisement highlighting its achievements in Himachal Pradesh. Apparently, the reference was received when the Gujarat polls were not announced.

The ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare was granted a go ahead to broadcast/telecast/publish message of Minister of Agriculture on World Food Day 2017, based on the condition that the broadcast and publication of the message would not be done in Himachal Pradesh and it would not mention the state.

(Inputs from PTI)