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Gas price move

New Delhi, March 20: Arvind Kejriwal today asked the Election Commission not to clear the Centre’s request to raise the price of natural gas from April 1, reports our special correspondent.

The move by the Aam Aadmi Party chief, who has made the price of natural gas a key poll plank, comes almost a week after the oil ministry sought the poll panel’s permission to hike gas prices as the model code of conduct is in force.

The gas prices are expected to almost double from the current $4.2 per million British thermal unit, based on the Rangarajan formula.

Kejriwal has written to chief election commissioner V.S. Sampath that such a policy decision would violate the model code “since it is directly aimed at providing huge financial benefits to Reliance Industries Limited and falls within the ambit of corrupt practices during the elections”.

“It is estimated that the government decision is likely to cost the country Rs 54,500 crore every year and it must be probed by the EC how much money has been provided by RIL to the Congress and other parties for spending in the elections,” Kejriwal wrote.

Shoot delay

Vadodara (PTI): The poll panel has ordered the shooting of a Gujarat tourism ad film starring Amitabh Bachchan to be deferred.

K. Ajay Kumar, principal secretary to the poll panel, in a letter to Gujarat chief electoral officer Anita Karwal said the proposed shooting of the film Khushboo Gujarat Ki on March 11 and 12 be deferred until the poll process is over in the state.

Meira niece

Patna (PTI): Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s niece Medhavi Kirti, who was supposed to contest against her from Sasaram on a BSP ticket, on Thursday found that the party has fielded someone else from the seat.

Kirti managed to file papers but was denied the elephant symbol. BSP general secretary Pramod Pappu Singh said Kirti was supposed to file her papers on Wednesday. But since there was no news from her, the party decided to field Baleshwar Bharti from the seat.

Affidavit data

New Delhi (PTI): Candidates filing their affidavits online for the election cannot leave any column blank as the software being used by the poll panel will not accept incomplete forms.