BJP complains to EC against Govt.'s cash transfer scheme
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders led by Lal Krishna Advani met the Election Commission here on Friday to protest against the Congress-led UPA Government's decision to announce the Direct Cash Transfers scheme meant to replace subsidies for below-poverty line (BPL) families as well as other beneficiaries.
Advani after the meeting said that the BJP conveyed its concern to the Election Commission that the government should not make such announcements once election dates have been declared for it will have an impact on the upcoming polls and influence the voters.
"The cash transfer scheme that was announced a few days ago should be for the entire country, but they should have excluded the states where elections are due to be held. This is to be implemented for January 1 next year, but if you make the announcement earlier it will benefit the ruling party at the Centre," he added.
Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat goes to polls in November and December.
Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley accompanied Advani to the Election Commission's office here. BJP leader Balbir Punj also accompanied them.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had earlier on Wednesday lashed out at the ruling Congress Party for announcing the cash transfer scheme in its headquarter and linking it with Rahul Gandhi, saying this move is a pure election stunt aimed at the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Sinha said it is very astonishing that this scheme was announced by two senior ministers of the government at the Congress Party's headquarter and not in Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Sinha alleged that the main concern of the ruling Congress Party is to somehow win or influence the next Lok Sabha elections and not the welfare of the common people of the country.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari had, however, rubbished the BJP's allegations, and on Wednesday said the scheme is meant to bring an affirmative change in the existing administrative process for the welfare of the people.
Terming the government's step a 'process of reengineering' Tewari said that the decision should not be seen as an election stunt.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Tuesday furnished the outline of its ambitious direct cash transfer scheme, with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram terming it as a big political game changer.
The scheme would be launched in 51 districts involving 16 states in its first phase, and present operational 42 schemes of the government, including those from the Health Ministry, would be part of the scheme.
According to the government, almost Rs 3,20,000 crore cash transfer scheme will be launched in stages and cover the entire country by the end of 2013.