Modi’s Varanasi rally: EC shoots midnight letter to Jaitley, says can’t overlook security concerns

In its letter to Jaitley, the EC expressed surprise and disappointment at BJP's decision to hold protests.

Written by Raghvendra Rao | New Delhi | Updated: May 8, 2014 12:36 pm

Facing the prospect of protests from the BJP over the issue of denial of permissions to Narendra Modi to hold rallies in Varanasi, the Election Commission, in a late night communication to party leader Arun Jaitley, said that it cannot overlook the “security concerns” in the matter and also expressed surprise and disappointment at the party’s decision to hold protests on the matter, which it said was being dealt with as per the “ground situation”.

The EC told Jaitley that “permissions for two out of the three programmes: ‘Ganga Poojan’ and ‘Meeting of eminent citizens'” had since been issued by the District Magistrate. “As regards the third event i.e. the holding of a rally, the same was under discussion because of security and related concerns”.

“You would appreciate that matter like grant of permission for rallies; meetings etc. are dealt with at the level of District Magistrate Returning officer and not directly by the Election Commission,” the EC wrote to Jaitley. It also said that BJP’s local representative, Vidyasagar Rai had already requested for an alternative site on May 6, “which was given on 7th May 2014 though you later requested the Returning Officer not to process the permissions”.

“In this whole matter, the Commission decided not to go by the version conveyed by Dlstrict Magistrate/RO alone, but also consulted the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, who endorsed the security and suitability aspects including capacity of the ground, raised by the District officials. You will appreciate that the Commission cannot overlook the security concerns expressed by competent authorities,” EC Principal Secretary R K Srivastava wrote to Jaitley. The communication was made public post-midnight on May 7.

Drawing Jaitley’s attention to “the fact that any past and current grievances presented by your party or any political party in connection with the ongoing elections have always been given prompt consideration”, the EC said that it “is surprised and disappointed that your party has chosen to hold protests over the aforesaid matter, which was being sought to be resolved in accordance with law and the ground situation”.

Stating that “commission has been in the process of ascertaining full facts and was due to respond to your letters at the earliest possible”, the EC told Jaitley that “this has been done even as the commission was busy transacting heavy work on poll day today”.

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  1. V
    Vivek kumar
    May 8, 2014 at 8:46 am
    No dharana. Just do aarati and get over it. why is BJP wasting time? From BJP supporter.
    Reply
    1. L
      Leo Frank
      May 8, 2014 at 7:09 am
      Anyways, this is only going to ensure more & more votes for Modi. People are now strongly realizing across the country that they need a strong and decisive leadership at the centre.
      Reply
      1. L
        Leslee
        May 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm
        EC did a commendable job to foresee a similar situation which shook the country in December 06, 1992, and thousands of innocent people were killed or died in the aftermath of it. Long live our Consution and the real democracy.
        Reply
        1. M
          Manoj Kumar
          May 8, 2014 at 6:19 am
          BJP PLAYING VICTIM GAME. EC allowed ganga pujan and meeting with eminent people.but bjp does not want to do gnaga pujan or meeting .It has itself told returning officer not to process permissions Bihar rally of Modi 5 people died . So holding one rally in sensitive area by EC is OK considering threat to life of people attending rally and Modi ji himself.
          Reply
          1. S
            sandy
            May 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm
            EC is probably more concerned about security of future PM rather than Nobody RaGa.
            Reply
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