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EC Asks NITI Aayog's Rajiv Kumar to Explain Criticism of Congress's NYAY

The government think-tank's vice-chairman had accused the Congress of promising the moon to win elections.

New Delhi: The Election Commission has reportedly sought a response from NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar on his remarks attacking the Congress over its minimum income guarantee promise.

Sources in the poll panel said that since Kumar is part of the “bureaucratic executive”, such remarks may be violative of the model code of conduct.

“It is not a case of one politician attacking the other or one party attacking the other,” said a functionary.

“He is a public servant and ideally should not have made such a statement which is seen as working to the BJP’s advantage. His comments have been sought,” a source in the EC told Indian Express.

Kumar had accused the Congress of promising the moon to win elections. He had also tweeted, “The proposed income guarantee scheme fails the economics test, fiscal discipline test and execution test.”

Also read: Will Congress’s NYAY Really Mean Justice for the Poor?

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 made similar remarks in an interview as well. He told ANI, “It’s an old pattern followed by Congress. They say and do anything to win elections. Poverty was removed in 1966, One Rank One Pension was later implemented, everyone received proper education under Right of Education! So you see then can say and do anything.”

According to the Indian Express, Kumar has been given two days to respond.

At a press conference on Monday, Rahul Gandhi announced that the families who fall in the poorest 20% of the country will be given Rs 72,000 each annually as a minimum income if the Congress comes to power.