Amaravathi: The Election Commission of India on Monday evening gave a nod to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s request to hold Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. However, this order comes with strict conditions that the Ministers have to adhere to. The Cabinet meeting will be held at 3 PM on Tuesday instead of 10:30 AM which was decided earlier.
The poll body said the Cabinet meet should confine only to discuss drought-like situation, Cyclone Fani, irrigation, and drinking water issues in the State. It specifically ordered that no decision should be taken about increasing any prices and releasing any bills or arrears. Besides, it instructed that no media conference should be held after the Cabinet meet to publicise the discussion and issues that were taken up as part of the meeting.
Although it was decided to conduct the meeting at 10:30 AM, the Cabinet meet has been now rescheduled to be held at 3 PM in order to help Ministers in various districts to reach the State secretariat in Amaravathi. The agenda and discussion points have been circulated with the officials concerned.
Throughout the day suspense prevailed as to whether ECI would give a go ahead or not to hold the Cabinet meet. Earlier in the day Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had met chief secretary LV Subramanyam to enquire about the ECI decision. Upon being informed that no decision had come about, Chandrababu still indicated that he would go ahead with his decision to hold the Cabinet meet.
Although there have been clear instructions that no such meetings of Ministers should be held when the Model Code of Conduct is in place, TDP government insisted that it wants to conduct a Cabinet meet. Any such meeting to be held when Code is in place is tantamount to its violation. In case of emergency, Cabinet can be held but with the prior permission of the ECI.
The TDP had earlier without any permission from the ECI went ahead and scheduled the Cabinet on May 10. However it was called off after chief secretary had raised objections to the same. Finally, Chief Minister had to write to the ECI seeking permission both for the meeting and the agenda.