The Election Commission of India has clarified that no such letter has been issued by it.

Eatala RajenderFile photo
news Fact Check Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 13:40

The Election Commission of India has clarified that an RTI response claiming that the Telangana government's flagship Dalita Bandhu scheme was stopped in Huzurabad constituency due to BJP candidate Eatala Rajender's complaint is fake. The fake circular, addressed to one Mohan Maganeti, dated October 22, had claimed that the Dalita Bandhu scheme was kept on hold as the "Election Commission received various complaints from candidates and political parties, with reference of letter sited to EC from Eatala Rajender (Ex-MLA) on 24th September 2021. In this regard, Election Commission considered the scheme is under violation of MCC and directed to government officials till election code is lifted (sic)."

The fake letter was signed by one Gurupreeth Singh, whose designation said that he was an Under Secretary and Public Information Officer. The fake letter was widely shared by many, including TRS leaders. Telangana Minister for Scheduled Castes Development, Minority Welfare, Disabled Welfare & Senior Citizens Welfare, Koppula Eshwar had also retweeted the fake claim.

However, in a response to journalist Deepti Bathini, the ECI has clarified that "no officer with the aforesaid name is working as PIO and no such letter has been issued from the Election Commission of India." It also stated that an FIR may be lodged for legal action, in connection with the fake letter.

Dalita Bandhu is a self-empowerment and social upliftment scheme for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the state. Under the scheme, each Dalit family would be given Rs 10 lakh. The scheme was flagged off in Huzurabad by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao amid heavy criticism by opposition parties in the state, which alleged that the ruling TRS was trying to woo voters using government funds.

The ECI on October 18, deferred the implementation of the scheme in Huzurabad until the completion of the bye-poll. The constituency is going to vote on October 30. The ECI also had decided to extend the model code of conduct to a few areas surrounding the Huzurabad constituency, which had been objected to by the TRS.

Both Chief Minister KCR and his son and minister KT Rama Rao, had objected to the move, stating that the ECI was "crossing its limits."

Meanwhile, the Telangana High Court on Thursday, October 28, dismissed petitions seeking suspension of the Election Commission of India's (ECI) order deferring the implementation of the Dalita Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad Assembly constituency till the completion of the bye-election process. Dealing with three Public Interest Litigations (PILs), the court declined to interfere with the Election Commission's order on the ground that the poll panel has Constitutional powers to ensure free and fair polls.

The bye-poll was necessitated following former Health Minister Eatala Rajender’s resignation as an MLA and TRS member after he was unceremoniously sacked from the cabinet on allegations of land encroachment. Following his resignation, the former minister joined the BJP and is the party's candidate for the election. The TRS has fielded G Srinivas Yadav.

With IANS and PTI inputs

Read: Ground report: In Huzurabad, it’s a battle of egos between Eatala and KCR

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