M A I N   N E W S

BJP keeps up tirade, calls EC move match-fixing
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Election Commission today faced an all-out attack from an unrelenting BJP, both in New Delhi and Varanasi, after its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was prevented from holding a rally at the venue of his choice in the heart of the temple town from where he is a party candidate.

Modi, during a rally near Varanasi, attributed EC’s denial of permission to “match-fixing” by the mother-son government (an obvious reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi). The BJP also accused Varanasi’s District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav of acting at the behest of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.

Rejecting CEC VS Sampath’s contention that Modi’s rally at Beniya Bagh was denied because “lives of ordinary people and leaders were at stake”, senior leader Arun Jaitley said the permission to hold the rally at the venue was granted to the BJP on May 7 and “subsequently revoked as an afterthought”.

“The reason (that tension took place after a Beniya Bagh rally in 1991) cited for rejection of permission is not relevant. In the last 23 years, hundreds of the rallies have been held at Beniya Bagh, including by the BJP. Nothing untoward has happened in all these rallies,” he said, citing examples of recent election rallies of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal at the venue. Jaitley said Modi had addressed over 450 election rallies across the country where no untoward incident took place. “There is no reason why Varanasi rally would have caused tension.

Rallies have been held in the Kashmir valley and Maoist-affected areas. Is there a special reason why Varanasi rally alone would have caused tension?” he argued.

Throughout the day, the party used development mantra to maximise political gains for the last phase - the elections for which are slated for May 12. That the BJP, including Modi, has “genuine grievance” against the EC is what many independent observers also say.

Jaitley takes on poll panel

If you (EC) can’t ensure security, don’t hold polls in the country. But if you do hold polls, please provide a level playing field. You cannot deny the candidate the right to campaign. Rahul Gandhi can have a road show in Varanasi but Narendra Modi cannot have a rally. The security card is selectively used, — Arun Jaitley, bjp leader 





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