The Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce the dates for Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 by this week, media reports said. The term of the 182-member Gujarat Assembly gets over on 23 January next year.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 24, 2017
While sources in the Times Now, said the dates might be announced as early as Wednesday, CNN-News 18 said the commission would take a decision regarding the announcement of dates on Wednesday and declare the dates by Friday. The delay in the announcement of the dates of Gujarat polls has stirred up quite a controversy among the Opposition parties especially after the dates of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 was announced on 12 October.
On Monday, the Congress demanded that elections in Gujarat be immediately declared and the Model Code of Conduct enforced, saying the Election Commission should not be a party to what it called the BJP's attempt to "run away" from the Assembly polls.
It alleged that BJP was trying to delay Gujarat Assembly polls for its last-minute efforts to woo the people of the state with sops announced by the prime minister. Congress may move court against the Election Commission over delays in the announcement of Gujarat Assembly Election dates, party members threatened. They said that they had approached the EC and are awaiting its response within 15 days.
On 20 October, Congress leader P Chidambaram criticised the Election Commission, saying that by not announcing the Gujarat poll schedule, it has "authorised" Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare dates at his last rally, after all "freebies" for the state were doled out.
Chidambaram had also claimed the Election Commission will be "recalled" from its "extended holiday" after the Gujarat government announced all "concessions and freebies". Reacting to these comments, Modi had said Congress has no moral right to question the constitutional body.
Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti had defended the decision of announcing Himachal Pradesh's poll schedule before that of Gujarat, saying that multiple factors including the weather, flood relief work and festivities were considered before taking a call on election dates.
The CEC had said while the Gujarat and Himachal polls were announced together in 2012, their schedules were different. He also said the two states had no similarities in geography or weather patterns.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 23, 2017 18:31 PM