EC code not letting me work, will move SC, says Assam CM

    Severely handicapped, wrote to EC but no response: GogoiGuwahati:
    Saying that the Model Code of Conduct was seriously hampering day-to-day government functioning in “one of the most problematic states of the country”, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today threatened to move the Supreme Court against an Election Commission directive which forbids chief ministers from taking along an officer or private secretary on tours, or even speaking to DGPs, during the period the code is in place.

    Gogoi said he was taking up the matter with counterparts in other states “who too have been severely handicapped”. Speaking to reporters in Guwahati, the CM said: “I have been severely handicapped because of such a directive by the Election Commission. Though I had written to the Commission on April 9 to revoke this particular directive of not permitting any official, private secretary to accompany me on my unofficial tours, there has been no response. If need be, I will move the Supreme Court with a prayer to quash this directive.”

    Elections for all Lok Sabha seats in Assam and other North-Eastern states got over Thursday but the model code of conduct will remain in force till the election process is completed across the country.

    In his letter to the Election Commission on April 9 — a copy of which he released to the media today — Gogoi pointed out: “Assam is one of the most problematic states in the country, having the largest number of extremist groups and many other complicated problems. As chief minister, I have to be in constant touch with the state and district headquarters so that the government runs smoothly and efficiently.”