Model Code of Conduct Affects Dalit Bandhu:
The enforcement of the model code of conduct for the upcoming state Assembly elections has impacted the implementation of two significant state government schemes: Bandhu and the distribution of Bathukamma saris. Several district collectors have reported that they have halted the progress of these schemes.
The distribution of Bathukamma saris, scheduled for the upcoming Bathukamma festival starting on October 14, has been affected. The government had allocated 1.02 crore saris for distribution, with around 50% of them dispatched to distribution centers before the suspension.
Similarly, the second phase of the Dalit Bandhu scheme has also been put on hold, and officials are not accepting new beneficiaries. This decision followed complaints by members of Congress, including Uttam Kumar Reddy, to the Election Commission of India (ECI), requesting the suspension of these schemes due to the model code of conduct in effect.
In response to these complaints, the ECI instructed all district collectors to investigate the distribution of Bathukamma saris and the Dalit Bandhu scheme and provide a report. Many district collectors reported to the ECI that they had suspended the government schemes.
A district collector mentioned that they had ceased Dalit Bandhu proceedings and instructed officials not to issue any orders or upload applications on that day.