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Varanasi: Modi denied permission to hold rally, BJP to protest

Varanasi: Modi denied permission to hold rally, BJP to protest

India Blooms News Service | | 07 May 2014, 07:14 pm
Varanasi, May 7 (IBNS): Hours after the Varanasi district administration on Wednesday cancelled a rally that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was scheduled to address on Thursday, senior party leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday sought the transfer of the Returning Officer alleging him of being bias and also warned the Election Commission of a dharna.
"We have written to Chief Election Commissioner and requested that Returning Officer at Varanasi be changed because we are now certain of his biased behaviour. There are many programmes lined up for Modiji tomorrow," Jaitley said at a press conference on Wednesday.
"The Returning Officer is not allowing the PM nominee to hold a rally in his constituency. This is an attempt to interfere in free and fair elections. I regret to say that EC is a mute spectator in all this," he said alleging that "the district administration is lying about the IB (Intelligence Bureau) threat on Modi."
"They have asked us to change venue. If he is not safe in one venue, how can he be safe in another? Ganga Pujan was allowed for others including Arvind Kejriwal, but not for Modi, " Jaitley slammed.
Jaitley also announced that he along with BJP leader Amit Shah and other BJP workers will sit on a dharna outside the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) gate on Thursday at 11 am  to protest against the biasses of the district administration.
In a series of letters, to the Chief Election Commissioner, Arun Jaitley earlier wrote: "I regret that I have not received any response, oral or written, from the Election Commission. Is the Election Commission acquiescing to this conduct of the Returning Officer? In case the Constitutional Remedy of approaching the Election Commission is not available to us, we will have no option but to protest on this issue."
Jaitley while addressing the media, said, "This is not a banana republic that a prime ministerial candidate is not allowed to address a meeting in his own constituency."
He said, "When weak people sit in important posts, democracy is threatened. I have been telling EC since this morning to act, but they haven't. For me this is cause for sadness."
Citing security reasons, the Varanasi district administration on Wednesday cancelled a rally that Narendra Modi was scheduled to hold on Thursday.
Modi's rally at Benia Bagh was cancelled as the local administration said the venue will not be able to handle a large crowd.
Modi was also denied Ganga Pujan (worshipping of river Ganga).
He will now visit the local party office at Varanasi.
Polling in Varanasi will be held on May 12.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from the Varanasi seat against Modi.