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Cong's Wadettiwar protests Patil's poll date prediction remark


Press Trust of India Mumbai
Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar Friday objected to a statement earlier by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil that "(Maharashtra) Assembly polls might be held between September 15 and September 20", saying it leads to the question whether there was a nexus between the government and the Election Commission.
Wadettiwar, the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, also wondered if Patil was a spokesperson of the Election Commission that he got to know in advance details supposed to be confidential.
"Patil said the code of conduct will be effective on 15 September. He is revenue minister. How come he gets to know poll dates this early? Is he a spokesperson of the Commission? Or, has the chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) given him additional charge of elections?" Wadettiwar asked.
Wadettiwar went on to add that if one was to observe the trend, things had happened as per what the BJP leaders said.
To drive home his point, Wadettiwar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during a poll rally ahead of this year's Lok Sabha polls, said "ab ki baar 300 paar (more than 300 seats this time)".
The BJP won 303 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"What is going on? The Election Commission is an autonomous body. The schedule is supposed to remain confidential. But Patil gets to know. Since such information is coming out, it also leads to a question whether there is nexus between the government and the Commission. This needs to be answered, Wadettiwar said.
Patil had, on June 25, stated that Assembly elections in the state might be held between October 15 and October 20.
Speaking at a function in Pimpri-Chinchwad township, the senior BJP leader had said the model code of conduct might come into force by September 15.
Patil, however, had said also said, "I am not a fortune teller but I am predicting it so because the last Assembly polls were held on October 15 (in 2014."

He had also said that the term of the incumbent state government will end on November 8.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 5:55 PM IST

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