Political parties in Gujarat make representation to EC
The EC team is on a visit to the state where elections are scheduled to be held in December this year.
Ahmedabad: Political parties on Monday made representation to the Election Commission (EC) team headed by Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath with regard to the Gujarat elections.
The EC team is on a visit to the state where elections are scheduled to be held in December this year. Apart from Sampath, those in the team included election commissioner H S Brahma and deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi.
The term of Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s government ends in December and he will be seeking fourth term, while the opposition Congress and anti-Modi group of BJP, led by Keshubhai Patel, have also started preparations for polls.
In a representation to the EC, a four-member team of Congress led by state vice-president Balubhai Patel demanded that keeping in mind the political situation in the state, the elections should be held in one phase.
The Congress also raised doubts over functioning of EVMs and said that technicians operating EVMs should be directly under the EC, instead of the state government.
The party requested the EC that elections should not be held under the current in-charge DGP and a full time DGP should be appointed. Chitranjan Singh is the in-charge DGP of the state.
It said that the officials, who are said to be close to the Modi government, should not be involved in election related activities. However, they did not specify if they have given a list of the officials or not.
The Congress said over three lakh state government employees are involved in election-related duties and do not get a chance to vote. The EC should make arrangements so that they can vote.
The BJP in its representation said the commission should keep in mind the festival season of Navratri and Diwali before deciding the final date of elections because if polls are held during the period it might affect voter turnout.
The BJP delegation included party general secretary Shankar Chaudhary. The BJP said that in Gujarat traders and businessmen operate with large amount of cash for their day-to-day activities. The EC officials should understand this and not harass common man of the state in the name of misuse of funds by political parties, they said.
The BJP also represented that when Returning Officers (RO) have a final say in matters related to elections and their orders cannot be challenged, the EC should ensure that there should be uniformity in the orders given by ROs.
The party further said there have been cases in the past where ROs gave different orders in similar instances.
The decision on complaints of political parties during the polling period should be taken by the EC in a time-bound manner as there were some instances where decisions have not been taken till the next elections, the BJP added.
The NCP and Left parties also represented their view to the EC regarding the holding of state elections.