New Delhi: CPI(M) Thursday lambasted Congress for "blatant misuse" of party symbol in announcing the direct cash transfer scheme, saying it could fall under "corrupt practice" under the election laws.
"The Congress party used its party office and the party symbol to announce the cash transfer scheme. It is a blatant misuse of the party symbol and can fall under corrupt practices," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
He indicated that the announcement came when the election process in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was on and referred to the Election Commission rules relating to offences and corrupt practices in connection with elections.
Noting that direct cash transfer was being proposed to be carried out under the `Aadhar` or Unique Identification (UID) card scheme, Yechury said the Bill to give UID legal sanctity was yet to be passed by Parliament.
"The Parliamentary Standing Committee has rejected the UID Bill and asked the government to come up with a fresh one. When the Bill has not been approved, the announcement about it in the cash transfer scheme is more in nature of propaganda. Without legal sanctity to this Bill, any such scheme will not be legal," the CPI(M) Politburo member said.
He criticised the cash transfer scheme, saying when inflation was high, the cash being transferred would actually cut subsidies and go to buy lesser and lesser amounts of foodgrains or other essential items meant under the scheme.
The rules of the scheme "are weighted against the poor, in favour of the UPA-II Government`s obsessive commitment to cut subsidies to the working people," Yechury said, adding, "Ultimately, it will reduce subsidy and dismantle the public distribution system."