Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, on Monday defied the election commission (EC)’s verbal order to stop holding press conferences while polling was underway.
The Congress convened a press conference at a city hotel where the Chief Minister addressed the media. Before entering the venue, Gogoi said the EC had not served any formal communiqué to him not to address the media.
“Why doesn’t the EC serve an official letter to me to stop this press conference? I am a lawyer. If I violate rules, arrest me. I am not bothered,” Gogoi said.
He focused on the allegations by BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday evening, at the press meet.
Gogoi said Sarma directly targeted him, spoke to the media over a video clipping that was morphed, alleged that in his tenure development was slow in the state and that it was up to him to counter all these allegations.
EC officials, meanwhile, said that since the model code of conduct was in force, no political party could convene a press conference on the day of polling. The commission acted after an official complaint lodged by the BJP.
At the press meet, Gogoi also accused the Election Commission of adopting a ‘partial stance’ towards the BJP. “The EC this time is 100% partial. I have never seen this type of partial behavior by the EC during any election in my 55 year political career”, said Gogoi.
Other members of the Congress party in Assam, too, accused the Election Commission of being biased.
“Violating EC’s guidelines, the BJP has issued a full page advertisement in all newspapers published from Guwahati today. Is this not a violation? Why is the EC silent on this?” asked Ripun Bora, chief spokesman of the Assam Congress.