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Election Commission clarifies on use of educational institutions' ground for rallies

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 9:03pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

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A day after Congress moved the Election Commission protesting Narendra Modi's plan to visit two educational institutions in Varanasi on Thursday, the poll panel today came out with a five-year-old order saying grounds of such institutions can be used provided studies are not hit.

Modi plans to visit the two institutions when he files his nomination papers tomorrow.

The EC today uploaded on its website a March, 2009 order which states that if schools and colleges are to be used for campaigning, the academic calendar should not be disturbed "under any circumstances."

The order also states school or college management should have no objection to this purpose and prior permission for such campaigning should be obtained from the school management and sub divisional officer.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, Congress said that as per the plan, Modi's helicopter will land in the premises of Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya, where he would garland the statute Madan Mohan Malviya, and then and fly to Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth from where his roadshow will begin.

"It is pertinent to mention here that Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth and Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya are central and state universities which cannot be allowed to be used for political purposes by the leaders of the political parties or any candidate.

"As such, Modi cannot use the premises of both the universities for landing or use their names or premises in any manner whatever, for filing his nomination. In 2001, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were not permitted to use Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth premises," Congress said in the letter.

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