Curious call on Gujarat poll

Curious call on Gujarat poll

An election official said on Saturday that while Himachal Pradesh polls will be held on November 9 and counting of votes on December 18, the Gujarat polls will be held before the results in Himachal.

"We are not interfering in the announcement of election dates".

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said that it is natural that questions would be raised over the EC's decision.

He said people of Himachal Pradesh have been made to wait for results for over a month "just because PM has to announce sops".

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The tenure of Gujarat assembly ends on January 22.

"It is now clear that the Modi Government and the BJP are putting pressure on the EC to defer announcement of Gujarat election alongwith Himachal, to suit its political ends", Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala alleged in a video message put out on his Twitter account.

The youth and the women wings of the Congress today organised a joint protest march over the delay in the announcement of the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha polls.

However, CEC AK Joti refuted these allegations, saying that "the state government had sought more time as it did not want an unusually longer period of the model code of conduct".

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The CPI-M on Friday called the Election Commission's reasoning behind declaring the poll schedule in Himachal Pradesh but not Gujarat "strange". So, from October 3 to December 24 when the election process concluded, it was 83 days, which is unreasonable.

SY Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner stated to media that the move was created a ground of suspicion and went against the spirit of simultaneous polls, where the compulsions of EC to announce the poll dates for Himachal and not Gujarat? Union minister Jitender Singh said that Congress party was questioning the wisdom and prudence of the constitutional body.

"But these were not conducted in two states simultaneously", he said. "This is even stranger if Gujarat Assembly elections are to be completed before December 18, then the model code of conduct must be applicable to that state as well", said the party in a press statement.

Singh has to counter the BJP's campaign against him while fighting detractors within the Congress party, like state party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.

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