New Delhi, Oct 12: The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP-led central government of exerting pressure on the Election Commission to defer the announcement of the Gujarat assembly polls, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit the state early next week to announce “sops and jumlas”.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded that the poll panel announce the dates of elections in Gujarat to provide a level-playing field and impose the Model Code of Conduct.
“Modi government appears to be putting pressure on EC to defer announcement of Gujarat election alongwith Himachal, to suit its political ends,” Surjewala tweeted.
“Reason is that PM is visiting Gujarat on 16th October as a false Santa Claus to announce sops and jumlas that he didn’t implement for 22 yrs. Onus lies on ECI to ensure level playing field by announcing Gujarat election dates and imposing Code of Conduct immediately,” he added.
Surjewala said that people of Gujarat have already “made up their mind to oust the BJP government”.
The Election Commission on Thursday announced that assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 9 but did not announce the poll schedule for Gujarat.
The poll panel cited some office memoranda issued earlier to justify the delay in the announcement regarding Gujarat, saying the Election Commission had a statutory 21 days to carry out elections that can extend up to 45 days.
The term of the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly ends on January 7, 2018 and that of the 182-member Gujarat assembly on January 22.
The poll panel said that vote count will be taken up on December 18 in Himachal Pradesh after completion of the election process in Gujarat, which the BJP has ruled for almost 20 years.