Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, urging him to relax the Model Code of Conduct in force in the state so that drought relief measures are effectively implemented.
Fadnavis told the Election Commission that polling in all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state had ended on Monday. He said the state was in the midst of extreme summer, ANI reported. “There are a number of infrastructure works such as drilling of borewells, repairs to drinking water schemes, irrigation canal maintenance works etc which need to be taken up during the extreme winter,” Fadnavis wrote.
He said the state government has declared drought in 151 administrative districts and the Centre has allocated Rs 4,714 crore for relief measures. The chief minister added that a cabinet meeting will held soon on this matter.
Fadnavis said that the tendering process, bidding and contracts for works planned in the annual works plan of the state government have to be completed in time. He requested the Election Commission to permit officials not on poll duty to review and implement the government’s programmes for drought relief. The chief minister also sought permission for ministerial tours during such reviews.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit had sought clarification from the Election Commission on April 26 about relaxations allegedly granted to the state government despite the Model Code of Conduct being in place. According to the BJP, the state government claimed that the poll panel had allowed it to go ahead with development work since elections were already over in the state.
The Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka were held in two rounds on April 18 and April 23. Around the country, the polls are being held in seven phases and will conclude on May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.