New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued notices to the Election Commission of India and the Union government while admitting a petition seeking guidelines on sops such as Pasupu Kumkuma and Annadata Sukhibhava introduced before the April 11 elections by the TDP government. The petitioner, Dr. P. Pulla Rao, sought clear guidelines to the ECI and wanted a ban on sops to voters six months before the polls. The petition stated that cash transfer schemes such as Pasupu Kumkuma and Annadata Sukhibhava should be declared unconstitutional. It may be recalled these schemes were introduced by the TDP government a couple of months before April 11 elections.
Chairperson of AP Women’s Commission and senior YSR Congress Party leader,
Vasireddy Padma blamed the Election Commission for failing to enforce norms. She pointed out that as late as two days before polling, cheques related to these sops were handed over. She said that the then chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu, admitted to this. Vasireddy Padma added that YSR Congress Party could not object to these eleventh hour sops luring voters at the time, because it did not want to be seen as a party which had reservations on benefits of some kind which would accrue to the masses. The TDP diverted huge amounts to these voter-appeasement schemes to try to woo the people. However, Chandrababu Naidu’s attempt to buy votes failed completely and people rejected the sops, she said. They showed their political sagacity by voting the YSRCP to power, observed the YSRCP leader.