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Cong questions EC over 'delay' in announcing Guj poll schedule

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today questioned the Commission's decision not to announce the poll schedule for and simultaneously and alleged that the had put "pressure" on the poll panel.

The party alleged that the "delay" in announcing Assembly schedule was to enable Prime Minister Modi to act as a "false Santa Claus" to offer sops and use "jumlas" (rhetoric) during his October 16 visit to his home state.

The would have come into immediate effect in had the poll schedule been announced, it said.

"It is now clear that the and the are putting pressure on the EC to defer announcement of Gujarat along with Himachal, to suit their political ends," communications incharge Randeep Surjewala alleged in a video message posted on his Twitter account.

"The reason is that the PM is visiting Gujarat on Oct 16 as a false Santa Claus to announce sops and 'jumlas' that he did not implement for 22 years," he said on Twitter.

The leader said that the "onus lies on the EC to ensure level playing field by announcing dates and imposing Code of Conduct immediately".

"The question is that can the buckle under such pressure from the Is this the right tradition and the should give an elaborate answer to the people of the country in this regard," he said.

Surjewala claimed that Modi is "sensing defeat" in his home state after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi "exposed the failures" of the government for 22 years.

The is fearing losses and wants to lure voters in the last minute, he claimed.

"We demand that the elections be held in Gujarat and in November and the model code come into effect immediately. This is the demand of the people of both the states as well as the constitutional obligation," he said.

"Whatever you may do and try, the people of the state have made up their mind and will defeat the BJP," Surjewala said.

Congress secretary incharge for Ranjeet Ranjan also raised questions over the delaying the announcement of outcome of the assembly polls in the hill state by over a month till Gujarat elections are held.

She claimed that the BJP "fears" that Gujarat may "slip away" from its hands given that the opposition party is "gaining support" there.

Welcoming the announcement of Himachal polls, she said her party is in "full campaign mode" and is banking on the performance of the Virbhadhra Singh government.

She also praised the decision to use Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) in Himachal for the first time.

"We are in full campaign mode and fully prepared. You can say the BJP on the other hand is hit by factionalism and has 4-5 candidates for the chief-ministerial post," she told reporters.

Ranjan also dismissed reports that Singh and Congress' Himachal unit chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu were not on the same page.

"They are not contradicting each other," she said.

"Given the (better) situation the Congress is in Gujarat and the way it is getting support there, not announcing Gujarat polls thus underlines BJP's fear," she claimed, echoing Surjewala on the issue.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 12 2017. 19:57 IST