‘Poll Panel Has Authorized PM To Announce Gujarat Election Dates’: P Chidambaram

PM Modi To Hold Another Rally In Gujarat On Sunday

New Delhi:Oct 20, 2017

P chidambaram
P Chidambaram criticised the Election Commission’s decision to withhold the Gujarat poll dates

Senior congress leader P Chidambaram criticized Election Commission for not announcing the dates for the Gujarat assembly elections on Friday morning. Mr. Chidambaram alleged the Election Commission that by delaying an announcement of elections in Gujarat, it has authorized Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do so once the ruling BJP has doled out all freebies and concessions.

“EC will be recalled from its extended holiday after Gujarat government has announced all concessions and freebies,” Mr. Chidambaram tweeted, he also tweeted, “EC has authorized PM to announce date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed).”

Earlier, a number of congress leaders have accused the Election Commission from deviating from standard operating procedure for announcing election dates last week only in Himachal Pradesh and not in Gujarat though their assembly terms end only two weeks apart. While announcing the election dates for Himachal Pradesh, the EC said that dates for elections in Gujarat will be announced later. However EC said that the elections in Gujarat will be held before December 18, when votes will be counted for Himachal Pradesh.

The congress has also alleged the Election Commission acted under the pressure of ruling party to provide an opportunity to the BJP to hand out sops in Gujarat in the absence of model code of conduct that bars announcements that can influence people in the poll bound state.

The congress earlier linked it to the PM’s visit to Gujarat when he held a mega rally in Gandhinagar addressing BJP workers. PM Modi will also hold another rally in poll bound Gujarat on October 22.

Though the BJP has dismissed the allegation with senior BJP leader and union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the opposition party for questioning the procedure of Election Commission. Mr. Prasad said that the allegation made by the congress suggest that it is anxious about another electoral defeat in Gujarat. Mr. Prasad countered the Congress allegation saying that “the Congress is perhaps is speaking out of its own experience when the interference in the functioning of constitutional bodies used to be a thing in their rule, but such is not the case since 2014.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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