Launching an all-out war on the Election Commission, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday accused the poll panel of working “under pressure” and being biased against him as he violated prohibitory orders and held a roadshow after the district administration denied him permission to hold a rally in his constituency.
Capping an acrimonious day, Modi landed at the Banaras Hindu University campus helipad, near the venue of the party’s protests against the denial of permission, and began a 5 km-roadshow to the main BJP election office in Sigra, where a large number police and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed.
All along the route, he was greeted by saffron-cap wearing supporters, who chanted “Modi, Modi, Modi” as the cavalcade made slow progress to the venue of a meeting where he held closed-door discussions with senior leaders, workers and other supporters.
Additional District Magistrate (City) M C Singh said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr PC had been imposed in the city.
Earlier, senior BJP leaders including Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah had launched the protests outside Banaras Hindu University and near the Commission’s headquarters in Delhi demanding the removal of Pranjal Yadav, Varanasi returning officer for his “partisan approach”.
“It is unfortunate that the EC is not concerned about the institution’s neutrality. That is why our ‘karyakartas’ (workers) have to embark on a satyagraha,” Modi tweeted before embarking to campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Addressing a rally on the outskirts of Varanasi, he escalated his attack saying the commission was working “under pressure” but did not elaborate.
“The Election Commission should introspect. I don’t know under whose pressure they are working. My speech is not so important because people will get my message even through my silence,” Modi said.
Addressing the Congress, he said the people have decided to defeat the party and the “EC cannot make you win”.
On the security reasons cited for denial of permission, he said the government need not worry about his security as he was ready to die for his country.
“Still, it is an attack on my democratic rights. Should I not get rights that every other candidate is entitled to get. I have been denied permission to meet mother Ganga too,” he said, while promising to come back for Ganga pujan soon.
Earlier in the day, Modi attacked the EC at a rally in Azamgarh too, accusing it of being “partisan” and “biased”.
“I say this will full responsibility…the EC is acting in a partisan manner and has failed to do its job,” he told the cheering crowd as supporters shouted “Chunav Aayog Murdabad”.
“The EC has failed in its responsibility. After the last three phases, I am accusing the EC of being partisan,” Modi added. “I warned the EC on April 24 that it was not fulfilling its responsibility. There should be no goondaism or booth-capturing, the elections should be conducted in an impartial manner.”
“There have been reports of rigging in UP, Bihar and West Bengal,” he said and urged voters to teach the Congress, SP and BSP a lesson when they vote on May 12.
“There is a mother-son government in Delhi. But have these brought any change in your lives?” Modi asked. Stopping him, he said, was the only agenda they all have.
(With PTI inputs)