The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) on 13 October questioned the Election Commission's decision of upholding the announcement of date for Gujarat Assembly elections, citing that doing so while announcing the date of Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls was strange.
"It is strange that the Election Commission (EC) has announced the date of election for Himachal Pradesh Assembly, while withholding the announcement of date for Gujarat Assembly elections," the Polit Bureau of the CPM said in a statement.
The statement further stated that if the elections are due within a period six months, these states are combined and a joint announcement has been made.
"This has been the practice followed so far. The Model Code of Conduct is now enforced for Himachal Pradesh but not for Gujarat," the statement added.
"The Chief Election Commissioner has announced that the Gujarat polls would be held before the results of Himachal Pradesh elections are declared on 18 December. This is even stranger if Gujarat Assembly elections are to be completed before 18 December, and then the Model Code of Conduct must be applicable to that state as well," it further said.
On Thursday, the EC broke from convention as it did not simultaneously announce polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, even though the terms of the two state Assemblies expire within two weeks of each other.
"The Gujarat poll schedules are not announced right now due to the existing rules on time limit (46 days) for holding elections, but it will take place before December 18," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Achal Kumar Joti said, while addressing a media briefing.
Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be the first where the EC will compulsorily tally VVPAT slips with the EVM votes in one polling station of every seat.