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Congress party’s Chidambaram takes dig at Election Commission on Gujarat election date delay

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram resorted to some post-Diwali sarcasm on Twitter to criticise the Election Commission (EC) for not announcing the dates for the upcoming Assembly poll in Gujarat.

His tweets Friday implied the EC is hand-in-glove with the BJP, and is allowing the latter to lavish Gujarat with sops before the election date is announced.

Incidentally, after his Oct 16 visit to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans yet another Gujarat trip, on October 22, to inaugurate what he’s referred to as his dream project, the Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro Ferry Service, in the southern part of the state.

Chidambaram also characterised the EC as a body that’s on an “extended holiday”.

Gujarat’s BJP chief minister Vijay Rupani responded to Chidambaram’s tweet saying the Congress is “scared” of the election outcome.

“I think Chidambaram and the entire Congress are scared of the upcoming Gujarat elections,” said Rupani to ANI.

The EC was last week scheduled to announce the dates for both the Gujarat and the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections but it did so only for Himachal (Nov 9). All the EC said about Gujarat was that the election process in the state would be complete by December 18.

The EC’s rationale was that it was trying to ensure that Gujarat didn’t have an unusually long period under the model code of conduct. That was to enable it to finish relief work following July’s floods, said the EC.

However, several opposition parties, including the Congress, accused the Centre of “putting pressure” on the EC to delay the announcement of the Gujarat assembly poll dates. At the time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a visit to Gujarat scheduled for October 16, a trip he eventually did make.

“Did the EC not announce the Gujarat election because PM Narendra Modi is going there on the 16th and if he went after the imposition of the code of conduct he would have gone there as just a campaigner and would not have been able to make his populist announcements,” asked Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala.

He added that the Congress isn’t satisfied with the EC’s explanation.

“Can (the) EC yield to such pressure? Does it set the right precedent? The EC needs to respond and clarify,” said Surjewala.

Gujarat’s chief minister Rupani dismissed charges that the BJP was interfering with the EC’s work and said it was the up to the poll panel to announce election dates in the state.

“We are not interfering in the announcement of election dates. Let the Election Commission act at its own discretion,” said Rupani said to a television channel.

Source : timesofindia

This post first appeared on Daily Kiran, please read the originial post: here

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Congress party’s Chidambaram takes dig at Election Commission on Gujarat election date delay


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