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.