Modi’s pujan stalled in Mulayam’s state
Senior party leader Arun Jaitley, while expressing his anger, said, ‘Despite informing returning officer Pranjal Yadav well in advance our PM candidate’s scheduled events, it is unfortunate that the permission was denied.’
He added, ‘This is an example of the effort of the returning officer to prevent Modi from campaigning in Varanasi city. All these acts are creating an apprehension in our minds that the election in Varanasi parliamentary constituency cannot be free and fair with Mr Pranjal Yadav as the returning officer. He continues to be an obstacle in the campaign and is acting in a highly partisan manner.’
Jaitley claimed that the three events were planned well in advance and demanded that the returning officer must be recalled immediately for demonstrating blatant ‘bias.’ Jaitley sent two letters to the Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath for immediate action against the officer.
BJP leaders alleged that despite repeated reminders, the returning officer has given no clear reason for not granting permission for the events. ‘For the rally he gave a different reason. First we were told that the same venue had been booked by some Mr Khan who wanted to put up the national flag there. Then we were told that there were intelligence alerts that made the venue unsuitable for Modi’s address to a large crowd. This is absurd,’ Jaitley said.
The UP administration, while giving clarification, said it had asked the BJP to choose a different venue for the rally as the public park that has been selected can hold only 40,000 people and the expected crowd is much more.
‘This is not a banana republic that a PM candidate is not allowed to address a meeting in his own constituency. Is Modi’s entry banned in Varanasi? Can he not campaign in his own constituency?’ Jaitley asked.
He said, ‘There is no doubt that the District Magistrate of Varanasi is biased. Modi ji was denied permission to hold a rally in Benia Bagh, Varanasi. We wrote to EC asking for removal of returning officer. We have decided that tomorrow at 11 am we will sit outside Banaras Hindu University and will protest. Simultaneously protests will be underway in Delhi.’
After a spectacular entry in Varanasi during the filing of nomination papers, Modi’s events on Thursday were expected to give an extra mileage in motivating voters.
As per PTI reports, in a late night development, the local administration allowed Modi to go ahead with the plan in Varanasi. But BJP has refused to do so. A spokesperson said, ‘Modi’s rally in Varanasi has been cancelled as permission for the same came very late from local administration’.