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Achuthanandan to EC: what about Mamata's travel sop?

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Wednesday criticised Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement of free local travel for girl students on trains while the model code of conduct for the elections was in force.

The Chief Minister also wrote to the Election Commission protesting against the Commission ordering the suspension of follow-up action on Kerala government's order extending the scheme for providing rice at Rs.2 a kg to more people.

The Chief Minister said that the Cabinet had decided to extend the scheme to families living above the poverty line (APL) on February 23. The orders in that respect were issued on February 25. The code of conduct had come into force only on the evening of March 1.

‘Not justified'

There was no justification in saying that the code would be in the way of implementing an earlier decision.

Mr. Achuthanandan noted that Tamil Nadu had cut the tax on petrol on March 1.

Rail concession

The rail travel concession to girls was announced in Parliament on Tuesday. Did the code not apply to the Central government, Mr. Achuthanandan asked.

He said that the Kerala government was already providing rice at Rs.2 a kg to 40-lakh families.

It was to be extended to more poor people irrespective of whether they belonged to the below poverty line or APL category.

On his candidature

To questions about his candidature in the Assembly elections, the Chief Minister said that it was a question to be asked and answered later.

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