The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday took strong exception to the Centre’s move to increase the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders ahead of the Gujarat elections, and asked it to stop it forthwith. EC also sought an explanation from Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily by 11 am tomorrow for his announcement on raising the cap.
Taking suo moto cognizance of Moily’s announcement, the commission held an emergency meeting soon after he said the government would raise the cap on supply of subsidised cooking gas (LPG) to nine cylinders a household a year from six at present.
The Election Commission, at its meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, shot off two separate letters to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry and the minister.
In its letter to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry secretary, the panel said it “directs that the move for the reported increase in supply of subsidised gas cylinders, if any, must be stopped forthwith under confirmation to the commission.”
“The commission has taken strong exception to your aforesaid announcement when the first phase of polling in the state of Gujarat is only two days away,” the EC said in its letter to Moily.
The letter to Moily came in the wake of reports, quoting him as saying the supply of subsidised cylinders to each household is being raised by the central government from the present level of six to nine cylinders a year.
The contract has been put on hold and further payments have been stopped
While three members sought a cut of 25 basis points (bps), one argued for a 50-bps cut