New Delhi, November 7: Congress will approach the Election Commission (EC) alleging violation of model code of conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he announced the extension of the PM Gramin Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for next five years without the clearance by the Union Cabinet, sources said on Tuesday. According to party sources, the Congress will approach the EC over the alleged violation of Model Code of Conduct. The source also clarified that it is not against the extension of the PMGKAY for the 80 crore people of the country but it is against the blatant clear violation of Model Code of Conduct.

The source said that the party will be writing to the poll panel over the same either on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Earlier in the day, taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh in a post on X said, "A desperate Prime Minister announced a five-year extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana in the midst of the Chhattisgarh election campaign. This is a blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Will the EC take note and act?" Assembly Elections 2023: Free-Ration Scheme Will Be Extended for Five Years, Says PM Narendra Modi in Poll-Bound Chhattistgarh and Madhya Pradesh

"Now, it turns out that the Union Cabinet has not yet approved the extension. Actually, it is not surprising since this is how Modi functions. The Cabinet is a non-entity. First his announcement, then Cabinet approval. Recall, November 8 2016?" Ramesh said. He said, "In any case, the PMGKY is itself a rebranded and repackaged National Food Security Act, 2013 that as Chief Minister Modi had aggressively opposed. The five-year extension is not only a recognition of the Prime Minister’s flailing image but also of the deepening economic distress and financial pain."

The remarks came days after after Modi on November 4 announced that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the Centre’s free ration scheme that aids 80 crore poor, will be extended for five more years. “I have decided that the BJP government will extend the scheme of providing free rations to 80 crore poor people in the country for the next five years. Your love and blessings always give me the strength to make sacred decisions,” Modi said at a public meeting in Chhattisgarh's Durg on Saturday amidst the campaigning for assembly polls in five states.  Extension of PMGKY an Indication of Continuing High Level of Economic Distress, Growing Inequalities: Congress Swipe at PM Narendra Modi

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which was to end on December 31, 2023, will now continue till December 2028.  He reiterated this at another BJP rally in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh later in the day.  The scheme was launched during Covid pandemic. In December, 2022, it was clubbed with National Food Security Act (NFSA) scheme and extended for one year. The Congress has been critical of the government over the issues of unemployment, inflation and growing inequality in income of the people.

The Congress has on number of occasions targeted the BJP-led government at the Centre for its failure to control inflation and growing inequality of wealth across the country.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 07, 2023 04:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website