The Election Commission on Monday withdrew permission given to the Bharat Rashtra Smithi government in Telangana to disburse financial aid to farmers for rabi crops under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
The development after the poll panel accused the state Finance Minister T Harish Rao of violating the model code by making a public announcement about the scheme.
According to the EC notification, the Commission has observed that Sh T. Harish Rao, who is also a contesting candidate sponsored by the BRS Party from 33- Siddipet Assembly Constituency and a star campaigner of the Party, has “disturbed the level playing field in the on-going election process.”
“The Commission has directed that the permission granted vide its letter of even no dated 24th November 2023 for disbursement of Rabi season instalment under the ongoing Rythu Bandhu scheme during the currency of MCC, shall stand withdrawn immediately and there shall be no disbursement under the Scheme till the Model Code of Conduct in the State of Telangana ceases to apply.”
The scheme provides farmers with investment support for agriculture and horticulture crops with the aim of reducing their debt.
Each farmer gets a direct benefit transfer of Rs 5,000 per acre each season for purchasing seeds, fertilisers and pesticides as well as other requirements. There are 70 lakh farmers as beneficiaries under the scheme.
The model code of conduct is imposed as it goes to polls on 30 November. Votes will be counted on 03 December.