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Congress condemns delay in announcement of Gujarat polls

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 October 2017, 18:03 IST

The Congress Party on 25 October condemned the delayed announcement of dates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, saying the Election Commission (EC) has failed to carry out its duty as a Constitutional institution.

Congress senior leader Anand Sharma, in a media briefing here, said the Election Commission is highly respected and is expected to follow the mandate mentioned in the Constitution, but unfortunately they failed did not do it.

"The date of the Gujarat election was to be announced ten-day earlier. But the Election Commission did not do so. The Election Commission became a mute spectator and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his minister carried out their work," Sharma said.

Sharma further said that the clarification made by the Election Commission to delay the announcement was not satisfying.

"The act of Election Commission is condemnable and answer given by them is unsatisfying. They claimed that due to the relief work in few districts of Gujarat they delayed the decision, but the administration of those districts have clarified that the relief work ended long back," he said.

State Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki said the polling panel announced the dates for the Gujarat elections only after they were morally pressurized to do so.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot asserted that the BJP has "lost their senses" after witnessing Congress Vice-President Rahulk Gandhi aggressive campaign in the state.

"The prime minister sent the entire cabinet to Gujarat for campaigning. They are sacred of the result and because of that they wanted to delay the elections," Gehlot said.

Sharma also slammed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his remark on Goods and Service Tax (GST) and said the former is trying to mislead the people from the failure of his government.

"The Finance Minister should speak in a responsible way. He should not make such statement. He claimed that we are the fastest growing economy which is factually incorrect. India's GDP has stooped down as compared to last year. The credit off take from the financial institutions is the lowest in last 63 years. As far as employment is concerned, the government has not been able to fulfill its promise. The Finance Minister is trying to mislead the people from the failure of Prime Minister Modi," he said.

The polls in Gujarat will be conducted in two phases. The polling for the first phase will be held on December 9 and for the second phase on 14 December.

The counting of the votes will be held on 18 December.

First published: 25 October 2017, 18:03 IST