M A I N   N E W S

EC pulls up Hooda for violating code
Unhappy with Buta Singh over appointments
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 9
The Election Commission today rapped Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for violating the model code of conduct by announcing a girls’ school in Rohtak and expressed “serious displeasure” over the appointments made by Bihar Governor Buta Singh to various constitutional bodies in the state in violation of the code and reprimanded officials for the “lapses”.

“The commission is deeply distressed by the violation of the model code of conduct, more so on account of the fact that it has been committed by the Chief Executive of the (Haryana) state who, by his exemplary conduct, is required to set the highest standards for others to emulate,” the commission said, adding that it “cannot help but express its serious displeasure in the matter.”

The poll panel rapped Mr Hooda for announcing a grant of Rs 5 lakh out of his discretionary fund for a school in Rohtak from where his son is contesting a byelection.

Stating that the Chief Minister had made the announcement while attending a Janamashtami function in Rohtak on August 27, the commission, in a letter to the Chief Minister, said it was a clear violation of the code.

Expressing “serious displeasure” over the appointments made to various constitutional bodies in poll-bound Bihar by Governor Buta Singh, the commission held these as violation of the code and reprimanded the officials.

“It was the duty of the officers concerned of the state government to have apprised the Governor of the model code of conduct having come into force before signing and issuing the notifications in pursuance of his orders on the relevant files”, the EC said in a letter to the Bihar Chief Secretary.

It observed that the Governor had cleared the files, pending for long, on the eve of the announcement of the poll schedule by the commission, as the “officers have failed in the proper discharge of their duties and functions to observe the model code in letter and spirit”.

The EC said it wanted that its decision to reprimand the officers responsible for the lapses be communicated to them in writing.

It also directed that status quo as on September 6 be maintained with regard to non-statutory bodies like the 15-Point Programme Implementation Committee and the Bihar State Nagrik Parishad, EC sources said.

It sought a compliance report on the action taken by the administration within five days.

Governor had appointed three members to the Bihar Public Service Commission and as many to the State Backward Classes Commission.

He had also appointed the Vice-Chairman of the State Minorities Commission and eight of its members and executive chairman, two vice-chairmen and 16 members of the programme implementation committee.

Meanwhile, EC members met the DGPs and Chief Secretaries of Bihar and Jharkhand to discuss security issues in Naxal-affected districts of the two states.

For the first phase, there will be joint patrolling of forces between Jharkhand and Bihar. Common wireless system between the two states will be set up. Aerial patrolling will be conducted during the poll while 600 companies of the paramilitary forces will be sent to Bihar.


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