EC seeks report from NCP on Sharad Pawar's announcment

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Hyderabad, May 26 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao today said the Election Commission (EC) sought a report from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Union Agriculture Minister and NCP President Sharad Pawar's announcment at a party meeting yesterday in the city.

Mr Pawar, while participating in the state-level NCP convention, reportedly said the Centre would take a decision on hiking the renumerative price for paddy in ten days and it was also contemplating providing very low interest loans to farmers who were re-paying debts regularly.

Addressing the press here, Mr Rao said the EC would take a decision on whether the Union Minister violated model code as the by polls were scheduled to be held on May 29 in 18 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in the State, after the NCP sent its report. Stating he gave a briefing on the poll arrangements to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami, who came to the city on a private visit, the official said the CEC had expressed satisfaction with the arrangments made for the election.

Director General of Police S S P Yadav and Chief Secretary P Ramakanth Reddy also met the CEC.

Mr Rao said the political parties should stop campaign and public meeting from tomorrow evening. Campaign through TV channels and radio was also not allowed till polling.

The ECIL, which was supplying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), had assured that any problem with the machines could be sorted out in five minutes.

The government has declared May 29 as public holiday in the constituencies where the polling was scheduled to be held to help voters exercise fanchise, he said adding Central paramilitary forces were deployed in all constituencies and special attention was paid to the hyper sensitive areas.

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