BJP claims Varanasi poll officer delaying rally permission to Narendra Modi, moves EC

Top officials sought to blame the delay to non-receipt of ground report from security agencies and said a final decision could be taken by evening.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 7, 2014 3:58 pm

A controversy erupted over alleged delay in grant of permission for Narendra Modi’s rally scheduled for on Thursday in the constituency, with BJP crying foul and demanding that the Election Commission remove the electoral officer.

With the campaign fever soaring ahead of the May 12 vote in the constituency where Modi is in the fray, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Wednesday  alleged that the district magistrate, who is serving as electoral officer for Varanasi Lok Sabha polls, was making “unbelievable” excuses to “deny” security approval for the rally, which was a right of any candidate.

BJP said it has written to Chief Election Commissioner Sampath against the local electoral officer and has demanded his removal.

Modi is scheduled to hold a public meeting at Beniya Bagh area hereon Thursday evening, after another rally in Rohania, a rural assembly constituency outside the main Varanasi city but within the Lok Sabha constituency.

The permission was being held back for Beniya Bagh on the grounds that it was very crowded and unfit for holding rallies, officials said, while adding that the administration had also got certain requests from the general public for not allowing rallies in such areas due to security risks.

Top officials, however, sought to blame the delay in approval to non-receipt of ground report from security agencies and said a final decision could be taken by  evening.

They claimed that the request for the rally in Beniya Bagh area here was received yesterday only.

They said that the district administration was waiting for the ground report from the police and local intelligence unit and a final decision on approval for the rally would be taken thereafter.

Terming the situation as “unprecedented”, Jaitley said, “Holding public meeting in his constituency is right of every candidate and Narendra Modi cannot be denied the same.”

“If the approval is denied on the basis of some back-dated letter or so-called intelligence alerts about security issues, they are only excuses. We have written to the CEC and hope the situation to become clear very soon,” he said.

When asked whether BJP suspects that UP state government was behind the “denial”, Jaitley said, “I do not know who is interferring, but the DM as an electoral officer is free to decide on such things and he is not supposed to come under any kind of pressure.

“We have written to CEC to seek his removal from here.”

Varanasi goes to polls on May 12 and the campaigning will end on May 10 evening here.

Modi is pitted against AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and Congress’ Ajay Rai.

ADM (City) MP Singh told reporters that the application which they had received yesterday from BJP for Modi’s rally has been forwarded for getting inputs from local police station and also from local intelligence unit (LIU).

The report from LIU and police have not yet been received to make a final decision for granting permission, he added.

On the issue of Ganga Aarti at ghats, in which Modi was scheduled to participate tomorrow, Singh said that he was not yet aware of this and would only clarify when he receives the final report from LIU and police.

The grant of  permission is yet to be finalised for the rally, Singh said.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Varanasi administration was obeying an “unwritten order” and there is an “undeclared understanding” between them and the ruling Samajwadi Party.

She said it was for the first time a candidate was denied permission to hold a rally in his own constituency.

She said though the venue was pre-booked, the payment has not been made yet. “It is absolutely unacceptable. We are quite surprised,” she said.

 

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  1. A
    Anonymous
    May 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm
    EC have to please their masters
    Reply
  2. S
    Sandip Rudra
    May 7, 2014 at 8:39 am
    This an outrageous move by EC which is playing on the hands of pseudo secularists. EC is acting on the behest of corrupt and communal congress and its allies.
    Reply
  3. A
    Achuta Bhat
    May 8, 2014 at 10:00 am
    I think this so called 'Muslim dominated area' is also in India. If Modi is allowed to contest for Lok Sabha seat from that place he should be allowed to address the voters of that area.
    Reply
  4. A
    amit
    May 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm
    varanasi dm is son in law of shivpal yadav.
    Reply
  5. A
    Arpit
    May 7, 2014 at 11:31 am
    Wait u will get the answer soon...hope u will get the peace of mind after that
    Reply
  6. B
    BRC
    May 7, 2014 at 11:30 am
    I dont know why BJP is bent upon holding the rally at beniyabagh where there is history of communal clashes after BJP rally in 1990 there are other places where rally can be held without any problem.
    Reply
  7. A
    Arvind
    May 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm
    my thoughts exactly.. im sure that there are intelligent people in BJP who have already made the plans :-D
    Reply
  8. J
    J
    May 7, 2014 at 9:07 am
    Not necessary. Even without Modi presence in Varanasi, he would surely win
    Reply
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