EC on extended holiday: Chidambaram

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The Congress stepped its attack against the Election Commission and the Narendra Modi government over the delay in the announcement of Gujarat Assembly election dates. He added, "EC will be recalled from its extended holiday after Gujarat government has announced all concessions and freebies".

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram's comment on the Election Commission (EC) is not appropriate.

Last week, the Commission announced the dates for Himachal Pradesh, a Congress-ruled State, and told the media that the schedule for Gujarat would be announced later.

"I think Chidambaram and the entire Congress are scared of the upcoming #Gujarat elections", news agency ANI quoted chief minister Rupani as saying in reaction to Chidambaram's tweets. But they are scared due to their desperation.

Senior BJP leader and Chidambaram's bête noire Subramanian Swamy said Chidambaram had forgotten Article 324, which gives the powers of superintendence, direction and control of elections to the poll panel. Earlier the opposition party had expressed apprehension that PM Modi would announce sops at his Gujarat rally on October 16 but that did not happen. Had the EC announced the poll dates for Gujarat along with the schedule for Himachal earlier this month, the move would have prevented both Modi and Rupani from announcing the pro-people sops like loan waivers, free electricity, housing, etc.

The Election Commission, he said, needs to be complimented for not repeating the aberration in Gujarat election in 2012 when the duration of the code of conduct was an unusually and unreasonably high period of 83 days, he said.

"This is part of the "save Rahul" campaign as his cronies fear that Gujarat defeat will stall his never-happening, elusive elevation as the party president", Rao said.

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