Ahmedabad: It is pretty much clear that the BJP-led government in Gujarat is preparing to make the best of the opportunity offered by the EC.
Point to be noted here is that the state government, which already announced infrastructure and social welfare projects worth Rs 12,500 crore in October, is set to declare more schemes by the time the EC announces dates, bringing in force the model code of conduct (MCC).
The EC, however, clarified that polling would be completed in Gujarat before December 18, the date of counting of votes in HP. “It is an avoidable controversy,” said former election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy.
The former CEC said the commission could have deferred the Himachal election by a week despite the possibility of inclement weather. “Besides, the MCC does not prevent relief and rehabilitation work that can be carried out by the bureaucrats without the interference of the politicians…” he said.
Official sources in Ahmedabad said inauguration of Rs 550 crore ferry service connecting the two shores of the Bay of Khambhat and the launch of the Garib Kalyan Mela in districts such as Porbandar, housing for the poor, and self-employment kits are in the offing the next week.
“I think there is a need for the commission to give a more comprehensive and comprehensible explanation for the decision. I have faith in the commission, but in this case more explanation is called for,” Jagdeep Chhokar of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.