The Model Code of Conduct which is in force in Telangana for the rural local body elections does not come in the way of expansion of the state cabinet, former information commissioner and legal expert Madabhushi Sridhar said Friday. The Model Code of Conduct, either national code of conduct or state election code of conduct, says that any ad hoc appointment which influences the polls cannot be made, he said. Any ad hoc appointment which might have influence on the minds of the voters cannot be made, he said.
"Council of ministers is a Constitutional necessity. When there is a Constitutionally necessary event happening, nothing can stop it. Cabinet can be expanded. Expansion of Cabinet will not have any impact on the minds of the people. It will not have any adverse influence on voters," he told PTI. He was asked about reports that Cabinet expansion cannot take place as the model code is in force. The expansion of Cabinet or appointing a Cabinet minister is a Constitutional necessity, he said. "Distribution of power is essential. It should not be concentrated in one single person.
When it is being distributed among the elected members of the ruling party, it will not have any adverse influence on the minds of the people who are going to vote in local body elections," he said. Model code of conduct says ad hoc appointments cannot be made which might influence the minds of the people during the elections, he said. "My view, appointing the Cabinet ministers will not fall under this kind of ad hoc appointments," Sridhar said. The ministers should not make fresh sanctions and fresh promises, he said.
On criticism that there is delay in formation of a full Cabinet, he said it is "valid criticism". Asked if there is any time frame (on expansion of Cabinet or formation of a full Cabinet), he said there is no time frame and that it is the prerogative of the Chef Minister. "There is no time frame. It's the prerogative of the Chief Minister. We say it would be good if it is done. Constitutional law always guides. It is not a penal code," he said. Alleging that administration suffered in Telangana due to the absence of a full council of ministers, BJP MP and former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expand his Cabinet. "I believe that there is sheer negligence in administration across the Telangana state due to absence of full council of Ministers.
I strongly object to the centralising power in one (person) and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao should expand his cabinet immediately to resume administration in the state, he said. Rao took over as Chief Minister for a second straight term on December 13 following TRS' thumping win in the assembly polls. Mohd Mehmood Ali was the only minister to take oath along with him. Ali has been allocated the Home department.
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