EC allows disbursement of relief funds

Changing its earlier decision, the EC has allowed the disbursement of relief funds, which it had earlier said had been deferred till the election process in Punjab, which goes to polls on January 30, was over.

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2011, 23:12 PM IST

Chandigarh: Changing its earlier decision,
the Election Commission has allowed the disbursement of relief
funds, which it had earlier said had been deferred till the
election process in Punjab, which goes to polls on January 30,
was over.

The Commission has further also allowed giving
compensation to the farmers whose land was earlier acquired by
the government. The EC conveyed that the same be disbursed
only by the officers and not by any political leader.

Earlier, Punjab`s Chief Electoral Officer, had said the
Commission has deferred the disbursement of relief funds till
the election process in the state is over.

"We have received a revised order in the evening only, as
per which only the officers will be allowed to disburse the
funds to the already identified beneficiaries," Special Chief
Electoral Officer of Punjab Usha R Sharma said.

A release issued by the office of Chief Electoral Officer
Kusumjit Sidhu, said that reports received on distributing
ration cards/ blue cards with the pictures of the chief
minister of Punjab in district Bathinda were ordered to be
stopped immediately.

Sidhu said that a few sewing machines were also taken
into custody in Chamkaur Sahib, near Ropar, where they were
allegedly being distributed.

She added that 11 returning officers in Punjab were also
being shifted on personal as well as administrative grounds.

The CEO also said that unaccounted cash seizures in the state
were continuing.

"The state static surveillance teams were fully geared up
for their work. After the Model Code of Conduct came into
effect from December 24 with the announcement of elections,
unaccounted money amounting to Rs 5 crore, out of which Rs 47
lakh were seized today," she informed.

Quoting an incident of Guru Harsahai, she said Rs 23 lakh
were returned to a farmer after verifying the authentic
documents at the time of checking.

She also said that all the seizures were being
videographed.

Usha R Sharma said that the Election Department has
received 129 complaints of various nature so far, out of which
21 have been resolved.

She further said that more than 8,000 hoardings have been
removed across the state and 79 notices have been issued
regarding the violation of Model Code of Conduct.

PTI