Displeased with ministries bypassing the Cabinet Secretary while seeking model code approval for Cabinet proposals, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said it would not entertain last-minute appeals for approval.
EC also clarified that the Cabinet proposals were being sent at the last minute to build pressure for approval. “The EC wants at least 48 hours to deliberate on a proposal before it is tabled for Cabinet approval,” EC wrote to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha.
Though proposals are being sent for screening, they are landing on its table at the last minute, it said. “It leads to creating undue pressure to give priority to such reference over other urgent time-bound business,” the letter states.
This is the second such reminder dispatched to the government on referring the poll panel before announcing decisions during election season.
Last week, disappointed over some fresh decisions of the government, the EC had written to Sinha, reminding him that moves has taken during the poll season can only be proclaimed after consulting the poll watchdog.
Mentioning specifically to the finance and defense ministries, the letter states that the decisions such as those taken by them could have a bearing on upcoming Assembly polls in Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
Recently, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi went on record to tell that the EC was never consulted by the government on presentation of the Union Budget.
The matter was brought to the EC’s notice by Opposition, which advised the commission to stop the government from presenting it on February 1, just few days before the first phase of the elections. They argued that the government may announce populist measures to achieve an unfair advantage.