NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Though India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is predicted to win the most seats in the general elections, it will not release its manifesto until April 7, the first day of voting, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told the media late Thursday night.
Sources say this is unprecedented in Indian politics, but this is due to internal differences within the party between veteran leaders and leaders close to 64-year-old Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, who want the already drafted manifesto by the former to be tweaked.
"A manifesto has already been drafted by veteran leader M.M. Joshi, but the Modi camp wants it to be changed. This is going to delay the release of the manifesto till the first day of polling, which could be a violation of model code of election conduct," the sources said.
According to India's independent Election Commission sources, no party or any political leaders can release a poll manifesto 48 hours before polling starts, and violation carries a penalty of two years in jail.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress party has ridiculed the BJP deferring the release of its manifesto.
"A party and leader which claims great administrative and managerial competence is unable to release its manifesto in time. Why is BJP unable to produce even a manifesto on time," Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted.
India goes to polls on April 7, and the nine-phase voting ends on May 12, with results due on May 16.