BJP leader ‘announces’ Election Code of Conduct date, sparks debate over authority

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BJP state vice-president on Friday “announced” that the model code of conduct for Gujarat Assembly election will come into effect from October 15, triggering a political debate over his authority to do so.

While addressing the district BJP working committee meeting, party vice-president Bharat Boghra said: “Assembly election’s model code of conduct will be effective from October 15, which means we hardly have 100 to 125 days to pull up our socks. State leaders too are working for the elections, now we at the district level have to work harder.”

Reacting to it, Lalit Kagathra, Congress MLA from Tankara said: “I am not surprised with BJP leader’s forecast of elections date as the ruling party has degraded all constitutional institutes’ sanctity. Tomorrow, if BJP leader forecast Supreme Court’s judgement on any particular case in advance, it should not come as a surprise,” he said.

He even questioned the authority of BJP vice-president and also asked whether it was the party or the Election Commission who planned the elections. Before announcing the date, did Boghra speak to Chief Election Commissioner or any other officers to get inside information?, he added.

It is neither forecast nor inside information, but a simple calculation that the Election Commission issues election notification 60 days prior to the elections date. In 2017 too, Model Code Conduct was effective from October 12, defended Yagnesh Dave, BJP media coordinator.

Dave, in defence, further argued that in the past Congress leaders had stated that Gujarat will go for early elections, they had even announced likely dates, did that mean they had internal information.

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