Record number of Andhra government orders under poll commission scanner

March 3rd, 2009 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 3 (IANS) The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh is under the Election Commission (EC) scanner for issuing a record number of government circulars after the model code of conduct came into force with the announcement of the Lok Sabha election dates.
The state’s Chief Electoral Officer I.V. Subba Rao told reporters here Tuesday that he has sought an explanation from the government, which issued as many as 387 government orders (GOs) in a single day.

The process of issuing the GOs, which began Monday morning, continued even after the announcement of the poll schedule by the chief election commissioner in the afternoon. The officials continued issuing the GOs till midnight.

Leaders of Mahakutami or the grand alliance of opposition parties rushed to the state secretariat Monday night and tried to stop the officials from issuing GOs. They alleged that the officials remained in their offices after office hours to issue the GOs.

The opposition parties claimed that as many as 250 GOs were issued after the announcement of poll schedule, thus violating the code. The revenue department alone issued 60 GOs Monday and 10 of them were described as “confidential”.

Main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and other constituents of the opposition alliance lodged a complaint with Subba Rao, who promised to look into the alleged violation of model code of conduct by the ruling party.

Official sources said TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader Harish Rao met the chief electoral officer to lodge a complaint. Subba Rao assured them that he would seek an explanation from the chief secretary.

The state election authorities would check if the GOs were issued after the announcement of poll schedule.

Creating a record of sorts, the government issued over 1,000 GOs in the past week. The process reached frenzied pace in the last couple of days.

Official sources said some of the GOs issued Monday related to creation of new posts in the social welfare, tribal welfare and backward classes welfare departments. Some appointments and transfers were also effected through the GOs.

Simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assembly will be held in two phases on April 16 and April 23.

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