Janata Dal (United) today distanced itself from the tweet by party leader Pavan Verma wherein he had questioned the Election Commission’s decision not to announce the poll schedule for Gujarat alongside that of Himachal Pradesh. “The party does not approve the views expressed by Pavan Verma. We have full faith in the impartial functioning of the Election Commission”, the party’s chief spokesperson and national secretary general K C Tyagi said in a statement. “Verma was not authorised to make such a statement. He has expressed the views in his personal capacity and it has nothing to do with the party’s official line”, Tyagi added.
Verma had tweeted this morning – “The EC must not only be impartial but seen to be so. Why have the dates for Gujarat elections not been announced? We need credible answers”. The tweet had placed Verma in the company of opposition parties, which have accused the BJP of pressuring the Election Commission to delay the announcement so that its government could announce sops for the state before the model code of conduct kicks in.
The tweet came a couple of days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s request for grant of public status to Patna University was rejected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it also gave rise to speculations that relations between BJP and JD(U), which have come together after four years of estrangement, might have hit a rough patch. Kumar, who is also the JD(U)’s national president, however, steered clear of the controversy while interacting with mediapersons this afternoon and said, “I have not seen his tweet, how can I comment?”.