Congress targets EC over 'delay' in poll schedule

Congress targets EC over 'delay' in poll schedule

Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he inaugurated a new building of the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital, in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Monday. PIB/ PTI

The Congress on Monday accused the Election Commission of delaying the announcement of the general elections to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conclude his "official" tours.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also hit out at Modi for using official machinery and public money to fuel his election campaign through rallies and political advertisements.

"Using government functions as an excuse for political rallies, flooding TV, radio and print with political ads, it is seems that the EC is giving the government a long rope to campaign till the last moment using public money," Patel said.

"Is the Election Commission waiting for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'official' travel programmes to conclude before announcing dates for the general elections," said Patel, the treasurer of the Congress party.

In 2014, the general elections were announced on March 5 by the then chief election commissioner V S Sampath.

Over the past couple of weeks, Modi has been maintaining a tight schedule inaugurating projects and laying foundation stones at various locations across the country.

On Sunday, he was in Amethi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi's constituency, to announce projects to the tune of Rs 538 crore and the launch of a ordnance factory unit to manufacture the iconic Kalashnikov rifles.

On Monday, Modi was in Jamnagar to inaugurate a hospital, lay the foundation stone of a water desalination plant and launch an irrigation project.

Later, he was in Ahmedabad to flag off the first phase of a metro rail project and preside over a ceremony related to a temple complex.

On Tuesday, the prime minister is scheduled to launch a pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector. He is expected to be in Chennai on Wednesday.

On Friday, he will visit Ghaziabad, Kanpur and Varanasi to lay the foundation stones for a Rapid Rail Transit System and the Kanpur Metro.

The foundation stone for the Nagpur metro will be laid through video conference. Modi is also scheduled to address a public meeting in Varanasi.

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