New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): With the Election Commission stressing that no special preference was given to any political party in the wake of not announcing the dates for the Gujarat assembly polls, Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), citing the party was indulging in "saudebaazi" and was devaluing the democracy.
"Now it has been cleared why announcements for Gujarat elections did not take place. This is the reason questions are being raised on the transparency of the Election Commission. It is a very sorry state of affairs for our democracy. Action has to be taken as this is a culpable offence. This is a total BJP style of functioning that they are fighting on rates. This act of the BJP basically means 'saudebaazi' (trade/bargain)," Yechury said.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Achal Kumar Joti, the Chief Election Commissioner, had, earlier in the day, rejected the opposition's charge that the country's top election body was working under the pressure of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Yechury added, "That is what they have reduced politics and democracy to. The governing party has completely devalued the democracy."
Earlier in the day, Joti said, "We have given equal opportunities to all political parties. We have not directed any party to hold or not to hold their rallies in the state. We are not meddling in their campaigns. Yesterday, the Prime Minister went to Gujarat. Today, Rahul Gandhi will go. We are not giving any special preference to any political party."
"No, I am not under any sort of pressure. The opposition can only question us if we stop them from campaigning. The opportunities are equal for all. All parties make poll promises, even the opposition parties are promising lot of things we are not stopping anybody," he added.
Joti also said the Election Commission has commenced discussions with the Home Ministry with regard to security and administrative staff deployment for the polls in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. (ANI)