Accusing the government of putting pressure on the Election Commission, the Congress on Thursday asked why the dates of Gujarat Assembly polls were not announced along with Himachal Pradesh election dates.
"Is the reason behind not announcing dates of Gujarat election is PM's visit on Oct 16," asked Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala in a video message posted on his Twitter account.
Congress questions EC
"It is very clear that Modi government and BJP is putting pressure on the Election commission to delay Gujarat elections. The way Rahul Gandhi and the Congress exposed 22 years of misrule in Gujarat, people want a change there. BJP is scared now and want to lure voters by some schemes. We demand that Elections should be held simultaneously in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The model code of conduct must be enforced in both states," Surjewala said.
Modi will try to lure voters in Gujarat: Congress
Congress alleged that the "delay" in announcing Gujarat Assembly election schedule was to enable Prime Minister Narendra 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 model code of conduct would have come into immediate effect in Gujarat had the poll schedule been announced, it said.
Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan
Congress secretary incharge for Himachal Pradesh Ranjeet Ranjan also raised questions over the Election Commission 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.
Ranjan 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.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs