Wednesday , October 26 2016

Election Commission Directive Hits Andhra Pradesh Scheme

The AP government’s scheme offering free bicycles to girl students has to be canceled by Election Commission of India based on Delhi High Court judgment.

High Court stopped use of government funds for plans that Help Parties

Election Commission of India.

Vijayawada: The AP government’s scheme offering free bicycles to girl students has to be canceled by Election Commission of India based on Delhi High Court judgment.

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In a writ petition concerning that the BSP, Election Commission of India (ECI) recently issued the directions that no political party should either use or allow the use of any public funds or government machinery or public place for carrying out any activity that would amount to the advertisement for the party or propagate an election symbol allotted to the party.

The cycle is Telugu Desam’s symbol. TD was to distribute cycles to the students in government-aided & municipal schools to mark the completion of two-years of TD government in the state as per its election promise of 2014 elections. In all 13 districts, as many as the 1.80 lakh girl students were identified.

Though, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in a teleconference on Thursday, unaware of the EC order, asked officials to distribute the cycles to decrease dropout rates.

In addition to TD’s election promise, a girl at the TD Mahanadu held in a Tirupati in May 2016, had requested the Chief Minister in her speech to give free cycles to all the girl students. She recollected that, while she was studying, she had got a free bicycle from then TD government & she used to go to school on a cycle. Now she has completed here PG. She requested that the scheme could be implemented again so that many girl students may avail this opportunity to study in schools.

The dropout rate among the girls is high as parents are not willing to send their children’s to schools outside their village without a proper mode of transport. Following this situation, the AP Cabinet at its meeting on June 1, 2016, has approved the distribution of bicycles to girl students of Class IX in government aided & municipal schools.

According to a senior official from the school education department, the bicycles are at the stage of being delivered from the manufacturers. The state government had allocated nearly Rs 74.92 crore for the implementation of the scheme “Badiki Vastha”. He added, “I don’t know whether this EC directive has been noticed by the government. But we shall move forward in distributing bicycle for girls of Class IX as we were instructed by the Chief Minister.” He mentioned that they will complete the distribution process very soon.

Now the officials said that they would take this to a notice of the Chief Minister to make a decision on this.


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