EC finds Niti Ayog EC guilty of ‘election code violation’

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New Dehi:¬†The Election Commission on Friday, found that Niti Ayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar’s comment on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s announcement on the minimum income guarantee scheme had violated the model code of conduct, and conveyed its displeasure and directed him to desist from such actions in future.

“The Commission has come to the conclusion that your above comments (on Congress’ minimum income guarantee scheme) has violated the MCC norms. The Commission has, therefore, decided to convey its displeasure on your comments and expects that you should exercise caution in future.” The Commission also said public servants should not only be impartial in their conduct, but also in their public utterances, which were found wanting in this case.

“The spirit of model code of conduct requires all public servants to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process, and not to either engage in or appear to engage in any activity that disturbs or appears to disturb the level-playing field of conduct of elections or create doubt in the minds of the stakeholders about the integrity of the electoral process.”, the Commission said.

Mr Kumar had commented and tweeted that Congress was promising the moon to voters to win elections.

“The proposed income guarantee scheme fails the economics test, fiscal discipline test and execution test. True to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress president announces a scheme that will bust fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented.”

Opposition parties including the Congress had objected to this and demanded action from the poll body.

On March 27, the Commission had sought Kumar’s response on his remarks on Congress’s minimum income guarantee scheme announcement.

The Commission found that Kumar, as he is a bureaucrat, prima facie violates the poll conduct.

In his reply, it is learned that Kumar claimed that he did not violate MCC as he had commented as an economist and not as part of Niti Ayog.

However, the poll body has said Rajiv Kumar’s reply was not found to be satisfactory.

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