- Held off on Gujarat dates due to floods, festivals: Election Commissioner
- Rahul Gandhi campaigning in Gujarat too, not favouring PM: AK Joti
- Congress says Election Commission under pressure from centre on Gujarat
The powerful Election Commission has been accused by the opposition Congress of colluding with the government to delay the schedule for the election in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state to allow him to make announcements and launch massive projects to influence voters into supporting his party.
The BJP has governed Gujarat uninterrupted for nearly two decades.
Yesterday, the PM launched a 650-crore ferry that links Saurashtra to south Gujarat; the roll-on roll-off ferry service covers 31 kilometres by sea. Mr Modi has been campaigning extensively in the state, announcing an assortment of big bang infrastructure projects.
Earlier this month, the Election Commission announced the dates for voting and counting for the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, but for the Gujarat assembly election, it said only that the election would be completed by December 18. The opposition pointed out this was an aberration, that since 1998, elections for Gujarat and Himachal had been held simultaneously except in 2002, when Gujarat was lacerated by communal riots.
On Friday, Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the PM was calling the shots and was "authorised" by the Election Commission to reveal the dates of the Gujarat election.