EC suspends till July 17 Punjab govt free electricity scheme

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ISLAMABAD, July 07 (Online): Election Commission (EC) has suspended till July 17 the Punjab government scheme for not receiving electricity bill upto 100 units from the consumers under Roshan Gharana Program.

The notice served on Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Hamza Shahbaz for breaching election code of conduct came up for hearing in EC.

The counsel for CM Punjab filed the reply from Hamza Shahbaz.

The counsel told the EC the program announced by the CM Punjab does not relate to the constituencies wherein by polls are going to be held. The Punjab government program was announced in budget.

Member of EC from Sindh said when you make such announcement during election campaign then it will be deemed a bid to influence the election.

Counsel for Hamza Shahbaz said had we influenced the election then we would not have increased the prices of petroleum products.

The EC member said hiking the prices of the petroleum products does not fall in the powers of the provincial government.

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) inquired if you had announced the program in the budget then what was the need to announce it again.

The counsel replied the announcement in respect of this program has been made for the consumers using electricity upto 50 and 100 units because the inflation has surged.

DG Law EC said during the hearing EC has to provide level playing field to all political parties. The announcement for Punjab government is a bid to influence the by polls. Only 10 days are left in by polls. Therefore this program should be stopped.

The counsel for Hamza Shahbaz said the consumers will get benefit from Punjab government program in the month of August.

Later the EC suspended the Punjab government program till July 17.

CEC said the violators of election code of conduct with be dealt with under law. Therefore, the development program should not be announced till by polls. EC rejects all the propaganda meant for making the by polls controversial. The by polls in the 20 constituencies of Punjab will take place in transparent manner.