Dates for the coming national elections yet to be announced, the Congress has accused the Election Commission of deliberately delaying to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a series of programmes and welfare measures that would not be possible once the model code of conduct comes into effect. The party had leveled similar allegations ahead of the state elections in Gujarat in 2017, which the BJP had won with a slim margin.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel leveled the allegation in a series of tweets today. He also accused the government of campaigning "till the last moment using public money."
Is the Election Commission waiting for the Prime Minister's "official" travel programs to conclude before announcing dates for General Elections?— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) March 4, 2019
Using govt functions as an excuse for political rallies, flooding TV/radio and print with political ads,— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) March 4, 2019
It is seems that EC is giving the government a long rope to campaign till the last moment using public money
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on a hectic round of the states, conducting election rallies as well as government functions, where several last-minute schemes have been announced. Yesterday in Amethi, the Gandhi family bastion in Uttar Pradesh, he had announced programmes to the tune of Rs 538 crore, including an India-Russia joint venture to build Kalashnikovs.
In home state Gujarat today, PM Modi inaugurated various development projects, including the first phase of the six-km-long Ahmedabad Metro service. He also addressed a political rally.
On March 8, he would visit Ghaziabad, Kanpur and Banaras to lay foundation stones for a Rapid Rail Transit System and the Kanpur metro. The foundation stone for Nagpur Metro will be laid through video conference.
In the evening, he would address a public meeting in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.
PM Modi's ministers too have been on a spree, inaugurating new projects for their departments. The list includes transport minister Nitin Gadkari, who announced 60 projects, railway minister Piyush Goyal and telecom minister Manoj Sinha.
Sources in the Election Commission said its officials are busy flitting from state to state to review how prepared they were for elections. The officials are in Jammu and Kashmir today.
Ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat, the Congress had held the government responsible for a delay in the announcement of dates. The party had accused the BJP of making people-friendly announcements in the state which it had been ruling for nearly 20 years.