The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began a protest on Thursday against the Election Commission's defence of a returning officer's decision to ban a rally that was to be addressed by the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the congested Beniya Bagh ground of Varanasi.
BJP workers protested outside the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Meanwhile, RAF personnel have been deployed outside the university.
Varanasi: BJP workers gather outside Banaras Hindu University to protest against EC pic.twitter.com/IQmX8H6Bdo
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 8, 2014
Earlier on Thursday, Modi had tweeted and urged his party workers to maintain peace and order while protesting.
I appeal to my Karyakarta sisters & brothers to maintain peace & ensure that people do not face any difficulty.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 8, 2014
"I appeal to my Karyakarta sisters and brothers to maintain peace and ensure that people do not face any difficulty" he tweeted.
The BJP is outraged after the district administration denied permission to Modi for holding one of the two rallies in Varanasi on Thursday. The party will protest in Varanasi and Delhi against the decision. BJP leader Arun Jaitley, along with Amit Shah, will lead the protest in Varanasi. The BJP had sought permission to organise five events which included a rally by Modi in Beniya Bagh ground in Varanasi.
Modi is contesting from the holy city of Varanasi that will go to polls in the last phase of elections on May 12.
BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley called the move as unprecedented, and said it was a deliberate interference in conducting free and fair polls in the world's largest democracy.