The decision to announce polling dates for Himachal Pradesh, but not for Gujarat, has raised serious questions against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi as well as the Opposition have alleged that this delay is to accommodate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Gujarat next week. Once election dates are announced, the model code of conduct disallows the announcement of any new government projects or benefits.
"What were the compulsions of EC to announce the poll dates for Himachal and not Gujarat? They must have some good reasons to justify this," said Quraishi to journalists on Thursday. "Mr. Modi's visit to Gujarat next week creates a ground of suspicion and it's unfortunate."
The term for the present state governments in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat ends in January 2018. While the election commission (EC) on Thursday announced the polling date for Himachal Pradesh--November 9--no date has been set for Gujarat yet, raising eyebrows.
Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala alleged that the BJP government was putting pressure on the EC for the party's gain.
Modi Govt appears to be putting pressure on EC to defer announcement of Gujarat election alongwith Himachal, to suit its political ends. 1/— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 12, 2017
Reason is that PM is visiting Gujarat on 16rh Oct as a false Santa Claus to announce soaps & jumlas that he didn't implement for 22 yrs. 2/— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 12, 2017
Onus lies on ECI to ensure level playing field by announcing Guj election dates & imposing Code of Conduct immediately. 3/3— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 12, 2017
Meanwhile BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said that the opposition party's statements were "unfortunate."
"It would have been okay if a small political group would have said this statement," he said. "But it is saddening that a party which has ruled the country for several years is using the decisions for constitutional organisations for their own political vendetta."
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