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JD(U) distances itself from Pavan Varma's criticism of EC for delay in Gujarat Assembly polls, says it's not party's official line

New Delhi: The Janata Dal United JD(U), an ally of the NDA, was left red-faced on Monday after party's national general secretary Pavan K Varma criticised the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Election Commission regarding the EC's decision to not announce election dates for Gujarat.

The JD(U) distanced itself from Varma's comments, saying these views had "nothing to do with the party's official line".

File image of Pavan K Varma. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

File image of Pavan K Varma. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

"The party does not approve of the views expressed by its leader Pawan Varma. We have full faith in the impartial functioning of the Election Commission, which is a constitutional body," the JD(U) said in a statement released by secretary general KC Tyagi.

The statement said Varma was "not authorised" to make such a statement and that the "expressed views are in his personal capacity and have nothing to do with party's official line".

Earlier in the day, diplomat-turned-politician Varma had questioned the Election Commission's decision to announce election schedule for Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, but not for Gujarat, saying that "credible answers were needed".

"The EC must not only be impartial but seen to be so. Why have the dates for Gujarat elections not been announced? We need credible answers," said Varma on Twitter.

Varma, also the national spokesperson of the JD(U), hit out at the central government over India's falling ranking in the Global Hunger Index. "India's steep fall in the Global Hunger Index from 55 in 2014 to 100 in 2017 begs the question who is the 'fastest growing' economy working for?" he asked.

The Election Commission has drawn sharp criticism from the Opposition for announcing dates for Himachal Pradesh, which goes to polls on 9 November, without giving the schedule for Gujarat whose Assembly term ends on 22 January.

The JD(U) faction led by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar formed a coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state after severing ties with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.


Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 08:12 AM

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