National

EC yet to meet on forces deployment in Gujarat

It has not declared the election date for the State, whose Assembly tenure comes to end in January 2018

The Election Commission that has come under severe criticism for not announcing the dates for Gujarat elections is yet to convene any meeting on the deployment of security forces in the poll-bound State, a senior government official has said.

“The meeting for availability of Central forces for Gujarat elections is yet to take place. It can happen in a day or two,” said the official. “EC convened a meeting on October 12 evening, after the polling dates for Himachal Pradesh were announced, but no meeting was held before that. Since Gujarat is a peaceful State, not a large number of security forces is required.”

Himachal poll

He said the EC had directed that around 65 companies (around 6,500 personnel) of Central police forces have been sanctioned for Himachal Pradesh.

The EC announced the election date for Himachal Pradesh on October 12, but refrained from doing so for Gujarat.

 

The results of both the States will be announced on December 18 — so that the results in one State don’t influence the other.

The term of both the Gujarat and Himachal Assemblies come to an end in January 2018.

In an interview to The Hindu on Saturday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A.K Joti had said the “availability of Central police forces” was one of the factors that determined the Commission’s decision to not announce the dates for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Mr. Joti said that with the announcement of the election schedule for Gujarat, the Model Code of Conduct would have immediately come into effect and this would have disturbed the relief and rehabilitation operations in seven flood-affected districts of the State. Gujarat was affected by severe floods in July-August.

 

Chidambaram’s barbs

Last week, Congress leader and former Home Minister P.Chidambaram said the “EC will be recalled from its extended holiday after Gujarat Govt has announced all concessions and freebies.” In tweets laced with sarcasm, Mr. Chidamabaram said: “EC has authorised PM to announce date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed).”

Since October 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Gujarat twice where he announced projects worth over ₹1500 crore for the State.

He is expected to visit his home State once again this week.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 12:05:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ec-yet-to-meet-on-forces-deployment-in-gujarat/article19901652.ece

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