New Delhi: 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 state capital Gandhinagar next week.
The Election Commission announced dates 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.
The Opposition said 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.
While announcing poll dates for Himachal Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti was asked by reporters why dates for Gujarat were announced.
Joti said that while people in Himachal Pradesh sought polling 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.