The Election Commission of India on Saturday came under fire from the opposition Congress after the poll body was accused of changing the announcement of poll dates for three states to suit Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Ajmer.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala launched a tirade by questioning the integrity of the EC, which is expected to function independently without influence from any political parties. Surjewala wrote, “3 Facts- Draw your own conclusions. 1. ECI announces a PC at 12.30 today to announce elction dates to the 5 states. 2. PM Modi is addressing a rally in Ajmer, Rajasthan at 1 PM today. 3. ECI suddenly changes the time of announcement and PC to 3 PM. Independence of ECI?”
An earlier report by Janta Ka Reporter had stated that Modi will be in Ajmer on Saturday to address a rally. The EC’s alleged postponement of date announcement is believed to have been taken to help Modi.
The model code of conduct would have kicked in with immediate effect had the EC gone ahead and announced the dates for assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at 12.30 pm. This would have prevented Modi from announcing any projects or other benefits targeting the voters.
With the EC changing its press conference timing, as alleged by the Congress, Modi will not have to worry about any code violation consequences now.
In October last, the EC had announced the schedule for Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, but did not announce dates for Gujarat, where Modi was expected to visit his state a week later. The counting for both the states had taken place on the same day.