The Election Commission on Friday found NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar’s remark on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s minimum financial assistance scheme ‘NYAY’, violative of the Model Code of Conduct and rejected his reply as unsatisfactory.
It further directed him to desist from such actions in future.
“The Commission has come to the conclusion that your comments violate the said MCC norms. The Commission has, therefore, decided to convey its displeasure to you for your comments and expects that you shall exercise caution in future,” the poll panel said in a letter to the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman.
Kumar had accused the Congress of promising the moon to win elections.
He had also tweeted, saying “The proposed income guarantee scheme fails the economics test, fiscal discipline test and execution test”.
In another tweet, Kumar had claimed that “true to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress President announces a scheme that will bust fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented.”
Kumar is reported to have made similar remarks in an interview also.
In an interview to news agency ANI, Kumar had said that the Congress’s proposed scheme will lead to “a huge fiscal adverse impact on the economy”.
Following this, the Election Commission had issued a notice to NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar seeking details over his remarks on Gandhi’s income plan.
Kumar responded to the poll panel, stating that he made his remarks not in the capacity of the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, but as an economist.
The EC replied stating that it had considered his reply and did not find it to be “satisfactory”.
The Commission further said the spirit of model code of conduct requires all public servants to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process and not engage in any activity that disturbs the electoral process.
Rahul Gandhi had last month announced a Minimum Income Guarantee scheme called Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) under which 25 crore poor people (5 crore families) in the country will get financial assistance of Rs 72,000 per annum if his party is voted to power at the Centre.
Rahul Gandhi said the scheme will supplement the income of those earning Rs 12,000 per month.