Poll panel delays date announcement, Cong sees link to PM Modi Ajmer rally

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New Delhi: The Congress raised questions over the independence of the Election Commission after the poll panel changed the timing of its press conference to announce dates for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

On Saturday morning, it was announced that the dates for the assembly polls in four states will be declared at 12:30 pm but hours later, the time for the announcement was shifted to 3 in the afternoon.

The Congress alleged the decision to delay the announcement might have a link to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Ajmer in Rajasthan at 1 pm, where BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s state-wide, yatra ahead of the polls, will conclude.

As soon as the Election Commissioner OP Rawat announces the dates, the Model Code of Conduct will come into effect, following which the state government cannot announce any new schemes.

Stating the reason for changing the time of announcement of poll dates, the Election Commission said that the decision was taken for the convenience of all mediapersons so that they can reach in time and to arrange logistics at the Election Commission office.

“3 Facts- Draw your own conclusions. 1. ECI announces a PC at 12.30 today to announce el(e)ction dates to the 5 states. 2. PM Modi is addressing a rally in Ajmer, Rajasthan at 1 PM today. 3. ECI suddenly changes the time of announcement and PC to 3 PM. Independence of ECI?” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.