Free Press Journal

No concession showered on us by holding polls on different dates: BJP


Ravi Shankar Prasad

Elections were held on different dates in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh even in 2007 and 2012 when the Congress was in power at the Centre,  Ravi Shankar Prasad Union Law Minister.

New Delhi : The BJP on Friday slammed the Congress for “uncalled for” aspersions on the Election Commission for not announcing the Gujarat Assembly poll dates along with Himachal Pradesh.

Denying any kind of influence on the EC by the government or the party in fixing the poll dates, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the elections were held on different dates in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh even in 2007 and 2012 when the Congress was in power at the Centre.

“Let us fight properly in Gujarat-based issues instead of “reflections on the constitutional bodies like Election Commission and even at times on judiciary that are uncalled for,” he said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

Prasad asked the Congress to check that the Assembly elections were held in Himachal Pradesh on October 28 in 2007 and in Gujarat only on November 21 while in 2012 Himachal Pradesh went to polls on November 4 and Gujarat in two phases on December 13 and 17.

No special concession has been showered on the BJP by holding polls even this time on different dates to warrant aspersions on the Election Commission, he said, rejecting the demand of Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala for simultaneous polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in November.

He said the CEC has already explained reasons for early polls in Himachal Pradesh in view of the biting cold and snow fall in December unlike no such exigency in Gujarat. He asked the Congress not to drag the EC into their political fight.

Prasad also seized the opportunity to have a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s “curious” trips to temples and keen interest in the religious practices during his last two 3-day campaign tour of Gujarat.

“Rahulji prabhu ke darshan se vote nahi milta, vote milta hae kaam se (You don’t get votes by mere visits to temples. Votes come from sheer work),” he said.

Prasad also slammed Rahul for talking a lot about developmental issues in Gujarat, reminded him that it was the Congress-led UPA government that did “everything possible” to delay clearance of the Sardar Sarovar Dam that has been now inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi.

Pointing out that he had appeared in some of the Sardar Sarovar cases as a senior advocate, he said he can tell from personal experience that “it was the Congress leadership that had deprived water to three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.”