Opposition parties questions why the Gujarat Poll dates are not announced, PM Modi likely to visit Gujarat next week

PM lauds Sunni Waqf Board for distancing from Sibal's statement

New Delhi, October 13: The Congress has accused the ruling BJP of pressuring the Election Commission to delay announcing dates for the Gujarat assembly elections, alleging this was done to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “announce sops” at a mega rally planned in the state capital Gandhinagar next week.

According to reports Election Commission date will be announced on Thursday for elections in Himachal Pradesh and said the Gujarat elections dates would be announced later,

Though it did say that they would be held no later than December 18, when votes will be counted for Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the opposition has stated this deviates from the practice of announcing poll dates together for states where elections are due around the same time.

The terms of the present Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assemblies end two weeks apart.

SY Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner stated to media that the move was created a ground of suspicion and went against the spirit of simultaneous polls, where the compulsions of EC to announce the poll dates for Himachal and not Gujarat? They must have some good reasons to justify this. Mr. Modi’s visit to Gujarat next week creates a ground of suspicion and its unfortunate.

Responding to statement to the opposition charges, Sudhanshu Trivedi, BJP spokesperson stated that Congress’ statements on Gujarat Poll dates are unfortunate.” also It would have been okay if a small political group would have said this statement.

But it is saddening that a party which has ruled the country for several years is using the decisions for constitutional organizations for their own political vendetta,”

Putting pressure on the EC by The Modi government to  to defer announcement of Gujarat elections along with Himachal to suit its political ends,” tweeted the Congress’ Randeep Singh Surjewala, alleging that it was done to ensure that a model of conduct – that does not allow announcement of sops – would not be enforced before PM Modi’s rally.

The main reason is that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Gujarat on October 16 as a ‘false Santa Claus’ to announce sops and ‘jumps’ that he didn’t implement for 22 years. The onus lies on the EC to ensure level playing field by announcing Gujarat election dates and imposing the Model Code of Conduct immediately,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Prime Minister had gone to Gujarat after poll dates were announced, he would have gone there as a campaigner and would not have been able to make populist announcements.

An independent body like the Election Commission must not “come under pressure like this,” the Congress leader said,

Meanwhile updating announcing poll dates for Himachal Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti was asked by reporters why dates for Gujarat were announced.

Mr. Joti said that while people in Himachal Pradesh sought to poll before harsh winter set in in the hill state, the Gujarat government had requested that it be allowed to finish several relief and rehabilitation works following floods in the state before the code of conduct was enforced.

He also stated that There was “no justification” to have a prolonged period of the imposition of model code of conduct as it could hamper development work.

Elections will be held for Himachal Pradesh’s 68 assembly seats polls on November 9 and votes will be counted on December 18, the Election Commission said yesterday.