The Aam Aadmi Party has lodged a complaint with the Returning officer of Varanasi against Narendra Modi, alleging that the BJP has spent over over Rs 1000 crore for its campaigning in the temple town and that people were “bribed”.
According to the statements by leaders of the BJP and media reports at least 2-3 lakh people participated in the rally.
“Half of them (taking a very conservative estimate on the lower-side) were wearing/carrying one or more of the items mentioned below with the election-symbol of BJP and/or name and the pictorial representation of BJP’s candidate,” said a letter written by party’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta to the Returning Officer.
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In its complaint, the party has said that Rs 5,75,00,000 were spent on caps, sarees, flags, masks, cutouts and T-shirts when Modi held a roadshow on the day of filing his nomination from the temple town.
The party has also termed it as “gross violation of the model code of conduct and directives” of the Election Commission
“Participants of the rally were bribed (as termed by the Election Commission in point-4 of its notice No. 437 IDL-LA/ZO l3/N S-II dated 17th October 2013) with T-shirts and sarees which is in violation of section 123(1) of the Representation of People’s Act
“As per the Election Expenditure Monitoring instructions of the Election Commission distributing diaries, calendars, purse, T-shirt, sarees and vanity bags is prohibited and amounts to bribe,” the complaint said.
“A helicopter was used by Narendra Modi to arrive at the starting point of the rally (and to leave Varanasi after the filing of nomination) and rental charges of Rs. 70,000 for the helicopter for the entire duration have to be accounted
“The Varanasi constituency roads were filled with hoardings(many of them illegal) of Modi and must be accounted for according to the commercial rates charged for such hoardings of the respective sizes,” the letter added. The Congress too has lodged a complaint to the Election Commission against Modi’s Varanasi rally.