BJP demands lifting of ban on Bhamashah Scheme

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Jaipur, Oct 31 (UNI) The ruling BJP in Rajasthan today urged the Election Commission to reconsider its stay on implementation of Rs 750-crore Bhamashah Women Empowerment Scheme while the Opposition Congress demanded relaxation on compulsion of photo I-cards for casting votes in the December 4 Assembly polls in the state.

The demands were raised during an interaction with Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami accompanied by Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and SY Qureshi and Deputy Election Commissioner Jai P Prakash who arrived here earlier in the morning.

The three-member Commission reviewed administration's preparedness for the ensuing polls and held separate meetings with Chief Electoral Officer Vinod Zutsi and other top officials of Election Department, representatives of seven recognised political parties including Congress, ruling BJP and Left parties and district electoral officers and top administrative and police officials.

At the meeting with political parties, the ruling BJP urged the Election Commission to reconsider its decision of staying implementation of Rs 750 crore Bhamashah Women Empowerment Scheme saying that the scheme was part of the state budget and launched much before enforcement of the model code of conduct.

The party delegation led by state vice-president Arun Chaturvedi also complained of discrimination on removal of banners and hoardings of welfare schemes of the Centre and Rajasthan Government.

While the banners and hoardings of the state-run schemes had been removed, those of the Centre-run schemes were allowed, the party pointed out.

The ruling party also expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of issuance of the electors' photo I-cards and urged that the commission should look into it and ensure voting rights for those who had so far not been provided with photo I-cards.

The Congress delegation led by state president CP Joshi also expressed dissatisfaction over slow pace of issuance of photo I-cards and urged the commission to safeguard against possibility of misuse of the I-cards by massive purchase of the same by the ruling BJP.

Mr Joshi said that since large number of voters were yet to get photo I-cards the commission should consider to relax compulsion of photo I-cards for voting and should allow alternative identity proof like ration card, PAN card, driving licence and/or passport.

The Opposition party also urged the commission to ensure actual pro-active role of the election observers.


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