India’s Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Thursday announced the dates for the upcoming Gujarat assembly polls. He said that the polling will be conducted in two phases on 1 and 5 December with the counting of votes scheduled for 8 December. CEC Kumar was also asked about the reason for the delay in announcing the dates for the Gujarat polls.
Reacting to a reporter’s question on the reason for the delay in announcing the dates for the Gujarat polls, Kumar said that this was due to several factors.
“As I explained to you, there are three more elections whose processes have to be completed before the next March. You can ask why we didn’t announce the dates for those elections.
“As I said to you, it’s a very complex decision-making activity, which takes into account a number of things including the convention, availability of forces and the weather. There are a variety of fctors that I’ve explained to you.”
The Election Commission had come under fire from various opposition parties for not announcing the dates for the Gujarat assembly polls along with Himachal Pradesh. Many accused the poll body of working to favour the BJP. The delay, according to them, was to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make key announcements for the voters of Gujarat before the Model Code of Conduct is enforced.
Had the Election Commission announced the dates for the Gujarat polls, Modi would not have been able to announce key policy decisions affecting the voters.