P Chidambaram takes a dig at poll panel over Gujarat dates

Says it authorised Modi to announce schedule

P Chidambaram takes a dig at poll panel over Gujarat dates

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday lashed out at the Election Commission (EC).

The senior Congress leader said the EC has gone on an “extended holiday” by authorising Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the dates of the Gujarat Assembly

In remarks dripping with sarcasm, Chidambaram tweeted: “EC has authorised PM to announce the date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed.”

The Gujarat elections have become the latest flashpoint between the Modi government and the opposition after the commission, on October 12, declared elections only in Himachal Pradesh.

The omission of the poll schedule for Gujarat - like Himachal, Assembly tenure ends in January - had the Opposition up in arms against the BJP.

“EC will be recalled from its extended holiday after Gujarat Govt has announced all concessions and freebies,” Chidambaram tweeted.

The Congress has accused the BJP of putting pressure on the commission to delay the announcement of elections in Gujarat, a charge rejected by the BJP.

The Gujarat government had announced several sops targeted at the restive Patidar community, which is considered to be moving away from the BJP, soon after the elections to Himachal were announced.

Modi visited Gujarat on October 16-17 and is scheduled to campaign in Vadodara on Sunday, the prime minister’s fifth tour to his home state in a month.

The BJP is perceived to be on a weaker wicket after being in power for 22 years.

DH News Service

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