Shimla: As the cold weather settles in the hills, heat of the political battle being staged is only heating up with the BJP today seeking an unqualified apology from chief minister Virbhadra Singh for allegedly having cast aspersions at the functioning of the Election Commission.BJP Party incharge for Himachal, Satpal Jain today sought to know from the congress leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as to how a chief minister had been permitted to make derogatory statements against heads of constitutional bodies.
Jain was referring about remarks attributed to the chief minister of having alleged that the Election Commission was working at the behest of LK Advani, the BJP leader.
â€œIt did not behove a man of Virbhadra Singhâ€™s stature to level baseless charges against the functioning of a constitutional authority,â€ said Jain. Airing such views amounted to insulting people heading responsible positions in the country, he added.
He said that at times BJP too was unhappy with decisions of the EC but it did not go about criticizing them in public.
Jain charged that congress leaders were exerting undue pressure on officers who were trying to enforce the code of conduct for ensuring a free and fair poll. He asked the officers to uphold the rule of law and not succumb to pressure.
About the leadership issue with BJP, Jain said that the party had so far not taken any decision about Shanta Kuma, Prem Kumar Dhumal or any other person being declared as the chief ministerial candidate before the election was completed. â€œDifferent viewpoints prevail and the parliamentary board would decide it at an appropriate time,â€ he said.
Regarding allotment of tickets, he said that the election committee was scheduled to meet anytime after November 18.
Responding to a question about the possibility of question scam tainted former MP Suresh Chandel likely being made a party nominee for the assembly election, Jain said that it was unlikely but the final decision of the election committee would prevail.
He claimed that BJPâ€™s campaign in the tribal seats of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmaur had got tremendous response and the party would win the seats by a comfortable margin