The Election Commission on Friday evening showed its “displeasure” over NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar’s remarks on Congress’s Nyuntam Aay Scheme or NYAY.
Kumar had accused the Congress of making the promise just to win the elections. He had also said, “The proposed income guarantee scheme fails the economics test, fiscal discipline test, and execution test.”
“The Commission has considered your reply and has not found the same to be satisfactory. The spirit of Model Code of Conduct requires all public servants to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process, 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 election or creates doubts in the minds of stakeholders about integrity of the electoral process,” stated a statement from the EC.
The statement further called upon public servants to be “impartial” not just in their direction but also in their utterances.
“The Commission has come to the conclusion that your above-mentioned comments violate the said MCC norms. The Commission has, therefore, decided to convey its displeasure to you for your comments and expects that you shall exercise caution in future,” stated the EC.
The model code of conduct is a list of dos and don’ts for both the political parties and government officials during the duration of the poll schedule.
Rajiv Kumar is learned to have told the poll watchdog that he spoke against Congress’s Nyay scheme as an economist and not as part of the policy body.
Kumar, in his reply to a show-cause notice submitted on Tuesday, is also learned to have said that he can speak out his mind as an economist on important issues concerning policy and economy.
He stated that his remarks should not be construed as the stand of the Niti Aayog.
On March 27, the poll panel had sought Kumar’s response on his remarks in which he had attacked Congress over minimum income guarantee promise.
As he was abroad he had sought time till April 5 to respond. But the EC gave him time till April 2.
Rahul Gandhi, in his pre-poll promise, had said that the Congress will transfer Rs 72,000 annually to the poorest 20 percent of the families. Gandhi had called the scheme the final assault on poverty.