New Delhi: Hours after Congress had accused the Election Commission of rescheduling the press conference under “pressure”, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat rejected its allegation saying that there was no pressure from anywhere.Also Read - Udaipur Beheading: Probe Indicates Accused Linked To Pakistan's Dawat-e-Islami
Addressing the presser, he said, “There would not have been a delay of two-three hours but for the problem relating to electoral rolls in Telangana.” CEC also said that C-DAC informed the Commission in the morning that there were some technical problems relating to electoral roll of one state and they needed more time to solve it. Also Read - Withdraw 'Adverse Remarks' By Supreme Court Against Nupur Sharma: Petition Filed Before CJI Ramana
The controversy started after Commission changed the press conference timing. In the morning, Congress had questioned the independence of the Commission in the wake of the change of timing of the press conference. Also Read - Loose Tongue Set Entire Country on Fire, APOLOGISE: Supreme Court to Nupur Sharma Over Prophet Remarks
“Three facts- Draw your own conclusions. ECI announces a PC at 12.30 today (Saturday) to announce election dates to the 5 states. PM Modi is addressing a rally in Ajmer, Rajasthan at 1 p.m. today. ECI suddenly changes the time of announcement and PC to 3 p.m. Independence of ECI?,” Congress chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.
Speaking in Kolkata, he had said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is guilty of pressuring the EC to delay its press conference as he was scheduled to address a rally in Rajasthan’s Ajmer at 1 pm. The EC was made to wait for Modi’s rally.”
Reacting to it, the Commission had told journalists, “Prime concern was for the convenience of all of you media persons to reach in time at short notice of morning message and arranging logistics here.”
Earlier in the day, the Commission sent a message to media persons at 9.50 a.m. regarding the press conference at 12.30 p.m.
Almost after an hour, the reporters received another message that the timing of the press conference had been changed to 3 p.m. Later during the question-answer session, Rawat was asked about the criticism over rescheduling the time of the press conference from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and that it was done under pressure from Prime Minister to accommodate his election rally in Ajmer in Rajasthan.