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Cong says Modi govt behind delay in Gujarat polls date announcement

New Delhi: Announcing the Assembly elections dates for Himachal Pradesh, the Election Commission on Thursday did not give the schedule for the Gujarat polls, though the two are to be held this year. The Congress, slamming the Modi-government, has questioned the delay in the announcement of dates.

The Congress alleged that this was done to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "announce sops" at a mega rally planned in state capital, Gandhinagar, next week.

Since the terms of the Gujarat and the Himachal Pradesh assemblies are ending in January, the poll schedule for the two states was expected to be announced together like in 2012.

"Modi Govt appears to be putting pressure on EC to defer announcement of Gujarat election along with Himachal, to suit its political ends," Congress spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

He alleged that this delay was done because the Prime Minister will be visiting Gujarat on October 16 to announce sops, which is not permissible according to the model code of conduct of Election Commission of India (ECI).

"Onus lies on ECI to ensure level playing field by announcing Guj election dates and imposing Code of Conduct immediately," he added.

The exact dates for Assembly polls in Gujarat were not announced but Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said it will be held before December 18, the day when the results of the Himachal Pradesh polls are to be announced.

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