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Sugar package: EC raps Pawar
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was today reprimanded by the Election Commission for announcing a sugar package in violation of the model code of conduct as the election process in Uttar Pradesh was on.

In a strongly worded communication to the Cabinet Secretary, the EC said there has been a “deliberate violation” of the model code of conduct in this case and keeping in view the fact that it was the second violation, the Commission has decided to “reprimand” Pawar for “this lapse”.

Referring to newspaper reports on the issue which was considered by the CCEA meeting, the EC said it “clearly confirms that substantive political mileage has been immediately derived through communication to the media in whatever manner regarding the information of the said scheme" and through the statements of Pawar”.

The EC also said by making public the scheme the level playing field for conduct of free and fair elections was distorted. No purpose is served by the Commission in withholding permission to either announce the scheme or implement the scheme as the objective for seeking such a prior permission is not at all valid and relevant as “the intended mileage and benefit has already been derived through the media report,” it said.

“In the circumstances, the Commission accords its approval in the nature of a fait accompli on the proposal seeking permission to implement the decision of the CCEA,” the EC said.

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