NEW DELHI: The Congress questioned the Election Commission’s role, claiming it ‘delayed’ announcement of poll dates in five states to accommodate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Ajmer.
The Opposition party expressed doubt over the sudden shift of the EC’s Press conference scheduled for 12.30 pm on Saturday to 3 pm.
At Rajasthan, Modi was to address the Ajmer rally at 1 pm. It cited two past instances and pointed out how BJP’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted the Karnataka poll dates even before the Commission made a formal announcement. Incidentally, an EC probe found that Malviya and Congress activist Srivatsa B had tweeted the May 12 polling date. The Congress, then, was furious that only Srivatsa was questioned by the EC while Malviya was let-off the hook.
In the second case, the Congress said, the Commission delinked the Gujarat elections in 2017 from that of Himachal Pradesh for allegedly enabling Modi make a slew of announcements. “How far the EC will accommodate the PM? We had information that poll dates in five states could come on October 5. They were shifted to October 6. But, the EC also deferred its press conference to adjust to the time of PM’s rally in Ajmer,” AICC general secretary, organisation, Ashok Gehlot said.
The AICC in-charge of Gujarat for the last year’s poll said the EC had declared the poll dates for Himachal in October 2017 but delayed the schedule for Gujarat to let Modi announce sops and schemes in his home state.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was for the people to see the facts and draw their conclusions. “The Election Commission again deferred its press conference to enable the PM to do the same in Rajasthan. People can draw their own conclusions from the facts. We just want to ask whether the BJP is the super EC and whether the poll panel is independent?” At the same presser, AICC general secretary in-charge West Bengal Gaurav Gogoi claimed the ruling BJP prefers dictatorship over democracy.