The Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has written a letter to the Assam State Election Commissioner alleging that certain members of the ruling party are violating the model code of conduct ahead of the panchayat elections to be held in the State.
Panchayat elections will be held in Assam in two phases – on December 5 and December 9.
Saikia said this was a camouflaged design to circumvent the code of conduct by giving monetary incentives to voters.
Opposition leader stated that the government was preparing to pay the second tranche of Rs 2500 to tea garden workers under the Government’s Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar launched on January 2, 2018 to encourage cashless transactions among tea workers, despite the violation of the guidelines set by the Finance (Institutional Finance) department of the State Government.
The amount of Rs 5000 in two phases was to be paid as incentives to those tea workers who had or opened bank accounts post demonetisation and drew their salary from these accounts.
In a letter from the Finance (Institutional Finance) Department to the Deputy Commissioners in each district dated dated March 30, 2017, the administration was asked to give maximum publicity and ensure that only one bank account of a worker was taken into account for depositing the first tranche of Rs 2500.
The guidelines specifically stated that the second tranche would be paid to those account holders among the tea workers who continuously made digital transactions from their accounts for six months.
Saikia stated in the letter that the workers did not carry out cashless transaction of wages uninterruptedly for 6 months as per the office order of the Finance Department and that a move was on to put the blame on the banks for not being able to do so.
The Opposition leader urged upon the State Election Commissioner to take cognizance of this alleged violation of the model code of conduct and to stop the move by the State Government to release the second tranche in order to draw the more than 6 lakh tea workers who would benefit and most likely vote for the ruling dispensation in the State, mainly BJP and AGP.