ECI asks to defer Rythu Bharosa payments until after polls in Telangana, says CM Revanth violated MCC

Election Commission said that CM Revanth Reddy had violated the MCC by saying that the scheme's payouts would be given on or before 9 May.


Published May 07, 2024 | 4:55 PMUpdatedMay 07, 2024 | 4:55 PM

Election Commission of India (ECI) (Wikimedia Commons)

The Election Commission on Tuesday, 7 May, directed the Telangana government to defer payments under the Rythu Bharosa scheme until after the Lok Sabha elections are held in the state on 13 May.

In a letter to the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer, the Election Commission also said that Chief Minister Revanth Reddy had violated the model code of conduct by saying in public speeches that the scheme’s payouts would be given on or before 9 May.

Elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana will be held in the fourth phase on 13 May.

“In the above premise and clear violation of Model Code of Conduct by Revanth Reddy, President Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and star campaigner and Chief Minister, the Commission has directed that disbursement of balance instalment under the Rythu Bharosa scheme for Rabi season of 2023 will be effected only after completion of poll in the state of Telangana on 13.05.2024,” the Commission said.

Also Read: ‘BJP wants to transfer reservation from Muslims to SCs, STs, OBCs’

First BRS, now Congress

Ironically, the former BRS government in Telangana too had to face ECI’s ire during assembly elections last year over Rythu Bandhu payments. ECI, which had consented for payments to be disbursed, withdrew its consent after then minister Harish Rao spoke about it in election rallies.

In an official communication, the ECI had asked the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Telangana to convey to the then BRS-led state government before 3 pm on Monday, 27 November 2023, that its “no objection” to releasing the Rythu Bandhu money stood withdrawn till the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was in force in the state.

The ECI said in its letter that the consent was being withdrawn as the then state government had violated the MCC in force that governs the transfer of financial assistance of the ongoing schemes.

ECI’s directive was based on a complaint the Congress lodged with the poll body, saying that despite the latter’s instructions that there should not be any announcement of depositing money into the farmers’ accounts, the government had acted contrary to the diktat.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)