Indian Express

Constitutional bodies have no immunity from criticism: BJP

Jaitley said the decision against allowing Modi to hold a rally was both "unfair and a denial of right to campaign". Tweet This
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Jaitley's  remarks came a day after Modi launched an all-out war on the poll panel accusing it of working "under pressure" and showing bias against him. Jaitley's remarks came a day after Modi launched an all-out war on the poll panel accusing it of working "under pressure" and showing bias against him.

Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday justified its attack on the Election Commission over denial of permission to Narendra Modi’s rally in Varanasi, saying constitutional institutions have no immunity from criticism.

“Do constitutional institutions have an immunity from criticism. I do not subscribe to the view that merely because an institution is created by the Constitution, it cannot be criticised,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said on his blog.

His remarks came a day after Modi launched an all-out war on the poll panel accusing it of working “under pressure” and showing bias against him.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, accompanied by senior party leaders, also took out a roadshow in the temple city yesterday defying prohibitory orders over the denial of permission to him to hold a rally.

Jaitley said that he was convinced that the decision against allowing Modi to hold a rally in his constituency was both “unfair and a denial of right to campaign”.

“Both the Returning Officer and the Election Commission have been rightly criticized for this blunder so that in future their successors do not fall into the same error. I do not subscribe to a vague notion of self-censorship based on an inter-institutional courtesy.

“My advice to the Returning Officer is that by denying the right to hold a rally he cannot restrict Modi’s campaign.

Yesterday’s events proved that unfairness of the Returning Officer was given a fitting reply by the people of Varanasi,” he said.

Unfazed by BJP’s all-out attack, the poll panel had yesterday rejected the accusation of bias and made it clear that it was “not afraid of anyone, any political party or any entity” in doing its job.

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