LPG quota: EC disapproves Moily's announcement



New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday strongly disapproved Oil Minister Veerappa Moily's announcement of raising subsidised LPG quota ahead of Gujarat elections and asked him to be circumspect in future.

The Commission, after considering Moily explanation on the issue, held that the announcement made by him is a clear violation of both the letter and spirit of the Model Code of Conduct but let him off with a warning.

"The Commission hereby conveys its strong disapproval of your above action and cautions you to be circumspect in future," said the EC order to Moily.

The poll body's order said that the Minister's statement that there will be an increase in the number of subsidized gas cylinders from six to nine in a year "tantamount to announcement of financial grant in the form of increased subsidy, and is clear violation both of the letter and spirit of the Model Code of Conduct."

The EC said, "such statement does have an impact on the minds of electors in the State of Gujarat where the poll is scheduled on 13th and 17th December, 2012."

The election authority's order came after it took strong objection to Oil Minister Veerappa Moily's statement that the Centre is likely to increase the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders ahead of the Gujarat elections and asked the government to stop it forthwith.

Taking suo moto cognizance of Moily's announcement, the EC held its emergency meeting yesterday and sought his explanation on the issue.

The poll body has said that Part VII of the Model Code of Conduct, which is in force now in view of Gujarat elections, pertains to the party in power and specifically states that the party in power shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign.

It further provides that Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof.

PTI