The West Bengal government on Wednesday told the Election Commission that the model code of conduct (MCC) was not violated in holding a programme in which the state administration announced a grant of Rs 50,000 each to all puja committees, according to an official. The MCC is currently in force as the EC has announced that the by-poll to Bhabanipur constituency in Kolkata and election to two other assembly seats in Murshidabad district will be held on September 30.
A day after receiving a written complaint from the BJP alleging that the state governments announcement of a dole of Rs 50,000 each to the puja committees of the state is a gross violation of the MCC, the EC sought a detailed report from the state home department which hosted the event.
State Home Secretary BP Gopalika replied to the EC asserting that there was no violation of the MCC as it is not applicable for the entire state, the official said. No puja committee from Bhabanipur or Murshidabad were invited to the programme held on Tuesday, in which Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi announced the monetary benefit, Gopalika said in the reply. The home secretary also wrote to the EC that no dole was announced for any particular puja committee in Bhabanipur or Murshidabad. The IAS officer also said permission was taken from the EC before holding the programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is contesting the bypoll from Bhabanipur. She needs to win it to continue as the chief minister of West Bengal.
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