P Chidambaram Uses Sarcasm To Target EC For Delay In Announcing Gujarat Poll Dates

| October 20 , 2017 , 11:00 IST

As the Congress and BJP conduct large-scale campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat, the dates for the elections have still not been announced, the delay of which is being slammed by the Congress.

The Election Commission had recently announced the poll dates for Himachal Pradesh, but did not announce the Gujarat election dates, only mentioned that the polling would be complete by December 18.

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Veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram a day after Diwali, criticised the Election Commission for not announcing the dates for the Gujarat elections in sarcasm-laden tweets.

In one tweet, Chidambaram said, "EC has authorised PM to announce date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed)."

Adding, "EC will be recalled from its extended holiday after Gujarat Govt has announced all concessions and freebies."

Meanwhile, Gujarat's current BJP Chief Minister Vijay Rupani responded to Chidambaram's tweet saying that the Congress is "scared" of the election outcome.

"I think Chidambaram and the entire Congress are scared of the upcoming Gujarat elections," said Rupani to news agencies.

Earlier as well, the Congress had raised questions about the delay in announcement of Gujarat poll dates.

"Did the EC not announce the Gujarat election because PM Narendra Modi is going there on the 16th and if he went after the imposition of the code of conduct he would have gone there as just a campaigner and would not have been able to make his populist announcements," asked Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala.

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"Can (the) EC yield to such pressure? Does it set the right precedent? The EC needs to respond and clarify," said Surjewala.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to Gujarat scheduled for the October 16th was cancelled later on.

In its defence, the Election Commission stated that it was trying to ensure that Gujarat did not have an unusually long 'model code of conduct' period as it finishes relief work necessitated by the July floods.