New Delhi: Top BJP leaders on Friday met the Election Commission to lodge their protest against the Centre`s announcement of direct cash transfer scheme ahead of Gujarat elections and demanded its withdrawal.
Led by party leader L K Advani and Leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, the BJP delegation questioned the timing of the announcement and demanded its withdrawal to ensure free and fair elections in Gujarat.
The BJP delegation also handed over a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath for taking an appropriate decision so that the Centre`s announcement does not influence the voting in Gujarat.
"We have discussed the issue. It was a good discussion. The Election Commission has assured us that all the issues raised by us will be taken care of before taking a proper decision in this regard," Advani told reporters after the meeting with CEC.
In its memorandum handed over on Friday, the BJP has urged the Election Commission to take serious note of the "blatant" violation of the model code of conduct by the UPA by announcing the scheme.
Urging the EC to take immediate action, BJP said it is being done with the "deliberate intention of influencing the voters" in the ongoing election process in Gujarat.
"We request the Commission to direct the government to withdraw the announcement and defer it to an appropriate time after the completion of the election process in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh," the memorandum said.
Advani said, "The Election Commission`s primary responsibility is to ensure free and fair elections. That is why they frame a code of conduct and Government should not make any announcement before or during elections that could influence voting or voters.
"The cash transfer scheme is for the entire country but the two states where elections are being held should have been excluded. If you make an announcement before the elections are due, the party in power at the Centre can benefit."