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Lok Sabha Elections: Narendra Modi in Varanasi; likely to take part in a road show

Thursday, 8 May 2014 - 6:00pm IST | Place: Varanasi | Agency: dna webdesk

Narendra Modi arrives in Varanasi. A cavalcade of ten cars, including a jammer vehicle, brought Narendra Modi to the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus. A sea of BJP supporters who were wearing orange coloured caps, shouting campaigns in support of Modi, had been waiting for his arrival for several hours. There was a slight law and order situation as soon as Modi's cavalcade entered the roundabout around the university campus, but the security detail of Modi managed to gain control to ensure that the route was opened up within ten to fifteen seconds. Television reports said that Modi is heading towards to the BJP headquarters in Varanasi to interact with senior party leaders and key city-based workers. He is likely to take part in a road show.

* ALSO READ: Narendra Modi vs Election Commission: Is BJP's ‘Satyagraha’ in Varanasi is ironic

Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi accused the BJP of indulging in caste-based politics and misleading people for political gains. "The BJP mislead people and try trapping them. They are doing caste based politics. They want to divide people. They have a cheap mentality, and their ideology tries to harm the diversity of this nation," said Sonia while addressing a rally. Read more 

* Meanwhile Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the Trinamool Congress-led government for disappointing the people of West Bengal in terms of not ushering development-related changes. Read more

We have asked for factual report, when its received further action will be taken: VS Sampath,CEC on Rahul Gandhi visiting EVM enclosure. Read more

Election Commissioner rules out immediate transfer of the returning officer, says CEC. No reason to doubt officer's credentials, they add.

* Merely organising a protest isn't violation of model code: CEC on ArunJaitley, Amit Shah dharna in Varanasi. We express our angst when complaints degenerate into calumny: CEC VS Sampath

* EC would like to point out that the commission is not scared of anyone—any political parties or entity, says CEC

We appeal to senior leaders of parties to display greater maturity when referring to the CEC

However, the permissions were accorded within hours of the requests

Where security issues are involved, EC goes by expertise given by local administration, says CEC. Competent local authorities, for security reasons were unable to give permission for Modi's public meeting.

We've taken note of the harsh allegations made against EC, says VS Sampath. The BJP delegation met us this morning and was conducted in a very cordial manner, he adds.

The EC has a challenging job in hand in enforcing rules, laws and Model Code of Conduct, says VS Sampath. Over 3000 public meetings have been conducted successfully all over the country

Statements by various parties have questioned the neutrality of the EC, says VS Sampath. Election Commission is not afraid of any party or entity in discharging its duties.

We have done our best to hold free and fair elections, says CEC VS Sampath

EC addresses a press conference

Will the world stop if Modi does not speak? There is more power in my silence than even in my words

What has happened, is it not injustice against me? Should elections not be free and fair

I hold meetings in so many places. So security issues only exist in Varanasi? And if I am ready to die, what is their problem?, says Modi.

I want to make Kashi a centre of tourism. I want people of India and world to visit this spiritual capital of India, says Modi.

I want our weavers to get the best opportunities, says Modi

When the world saw India as a Vishwa Guru, Banaras was seeing as a Rashtra Guru. Can we not return this pride, asks Modi

I am not interested in allegations and abuses. I have come here for development, says Modi

I have come to you with one agenda and that is development. Except development there is nothing on my agenda, says Modi

I am not merely your candidate. We have developed a very strong bond already, says Modi. 

Col. Nizamuddin joins Narendra Modi at Rohania

* Narendra Modi begins speaking in Rohania 

* AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday accused BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of politicising the issue of the 'Ganga aarti', saying no permission was needed to perform it. Showing a letter from the Election Commission giving Modi permission to perform the 'aarti', Kejriwal said: "No one needs any permission from the Election Commission to perform rituals. Permission is required only for political activities." Read more

Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad today claimed to halt Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's political ambition the way he had stopped the "rath yatra" of LK Advani in Bihar in 1990. Read more

* BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who was denied permission by poll authorities to hold a public meeting in Varanasi, used the rally in Varanasi to mount a fresh attack on the EC. "In UP, Bihar and West Bengal there were reports of serious malpractices in the last three phases. I want to tell Election Commission that I had warned you on April 24 that you are not discharging your responsibility well." Read more

* Finance Minister P Chidambaram today slammed Narendra Modi for his "outrageous" attack on the Election Commission, saying it showed BJP's desperation in the elections. Read more

* At a press conference BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu criticised EC, "Rahul Gandhi went to the EVM enclosures during polling hours, no action has been taken yet."

* At 4.30pm, all three Election Commissioners will hold press meet 

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury was also disapproving of the BJP protests, saying, "Parties can have a legitimate grouse against the Election Commission or their rulings but this is not the way." He says there's always room for reasoning with them, there is no need to create a communal frenzy. "Even we have issues like rigging in Bengal and we go and put our case before the Election Commission. This is being done to polarize voters."

* Amit Shah accuses Election Commission of double standards

BJP, SP enacting drama in Varanasi for poll gains: Mayawati

Prohibitory orders imposed around Election Commission ahead of BJP protest New Delhi

* JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav also commented saying, "Nitin Gadkari says caste is in Bihar's DNA. He should tell me one state in which caste is not present". He went on to say that the BJP are making so many promises, but they cannot keep them.

* P Chidambaram has stated that BJP's protest at Varanasi is an act of deperation

* AAP leader Manish Sisodia has also commented saying, "BJP has realised that all their calculations have gone wrong and they are losing in Varanasi,that is why all this protest" * TMC candidate Indira Tiwari allegedly heckled by BJP worker

* TMC candidate Indira Tiwari allegedly heckled by BJP workers​

* Amit Shah speaks to the media. When asked if the protest was a stunt so that the EC would compensate them by giving them permission. Shah denied that it was stunt and explained that it was a form of expressing their disapproval of the way EC denied them permission to hold the rally.

* Narendra Modi addresses rally in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh

Modi addressed the crowd saying, "It is very very hot but wherever I can see, I can only see people. These elections are about new hope." He said that the job of a government is to do good for the people, but these people here are doing good for themselves and their family by themselves. He continued saying, "I raised the issue a few days ago. It is believed the duties are not being performed in the way they should be. In last 3 phases, the Election Commission has not done its duty properly & I am saying it that it is partial.

Read Also: Why politicise Ganga aarti issue, Arvind Kejriwal asks Narendra Modi

Read Also: As BJP protests against EC, #VaranasiBlock trends on Twitter

* BJP leaders Harsh Vardhan, VK Malhotra and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi lead a protest march to the Election Commission in New Delhi.

* BJP leaders reach Delhi EC office

Also Read: International media descends to cover Varanasi poll battle

* Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley reach Banaras Hindu University 

* Commenting on the Bharatiya Janata Party's decision to stage a protest against the Election Commission in Varanasi and Delhi, the Congress said on Thursday, the BJP has proved it does not respect constitutional bodies. "This protest is a part of their strategy which included violating the model code of conduct. The BJP is proving again that it does not respect constitutional bodies," said Congress spokesman Meem Afzal. Read More.

* District administration has imposed Section 144 in Varanasi. Meaning that all roads leading to the Lanka Gate area will be blocked by police with a huge contingent of RAF is on standby at the protest site.

Also Read: Why can't the Election Commission and politicians ever get along?

Hitting out at the Election Commission, BJP on Thursday said "timid men can dwarf high offices" as the party protested against the refusal of permission for Narendra Modi's rally in Varanasi. "I cannot conceal my disappointment with the Election Commission. Men in constitutional offices need to be bolder. Timid men can dwarf high offices," BJP leader Arun Jaitley wrote on his blog. He also accused the EC of being "out of depth" in preventing instances of booth capturing during the latest round of polling. "The Election Commission scrutinises us all the time. Read More

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi heckled outside Amethi poll booths

Hundreds of BJP workers have come together outside Lanka Gate of Banaras Hindu University to participate in 'Satyagraha' dharna against the Election Commission for denying Narendra Modi permission to hold a rally in the city on Thursday.

* Former Uttar Pradesh CM and (BSP) head Mayawati has also commented about the ban on campaigning saying, "The people of Uttar Pradesh are smart. They are aware of the Congress-BJP partnership and the various conspiracies. Narendra Modi and Mulayam Singh Yadav's parties are responsible for creating communal tension... they are now in a partnership. A drama is on in Varanasi as BJP is trying to manipulate election results in Uttar Pradesh. They are even using a religious activity like 'Ganga pujan' to further their cause BJP and Shri Narendra Modi and Co. trying to spread communal tension all across the country, especially in UP"

Read Also: BJP's dilemma increases as Election Commission bans rallies

* Senior BJP leaders led by Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, state president Laxmikant Bajpai and Amit Shah stage a sit-in outside the Banaras Hindu University gate, protesting against the poll panel.

* BJP workers on Thursday took to roads in Varanasi and protested the Election Commission's decision to deny its prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi permission to hold rallies in the city.

Read Also: Why Rahul Gandhi is allowed to campaign in Varanasi but not candidate Narendra Modi? asks BJP; plans protests tomorrow

The party announced that all scheduled programmes of Modi for the day have been cancelled except for one rally. Modi is expected to address a public meeting in Rohaniya assembly constituency.

The district administration had initially denied permission for all programmes, including a rally at Beniabagh. In a decision late Wednesday, it allowed Modi to hold some of the programmes.

But BJP general secretary Amit Shah said the approval came too late and they had no time to prepare for meetings. Hence, the party had decided to cancel the events.

Modi will arrive at the Babatpur airport in Varanasi by noon Thursday and will be taken to the Rohaniya rally venue in a chopper. He will then drive through the city to go to the party office where he will meet party workers.

Earlier, Modi had tweeted that he was sad as he was not allowed to take part in the Ganga Aarti at Assi Ghat. The Gujarat chief minister also appealed Bharatiya Janata Party workers to remain calm and maintain discipline.

Responding to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley's letters, the Election Commission on Thursday defended its decision to deny permission to BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for holding a rally in Varanasi.

"As you may be aware, permissions for two out of the three programmes: Ganga poojan, and 'Meeting of eminent citizens' referred to in your letters have since been issued by the District Magistrate'. As regards the third event i.e. the holding of a rally, the same was under discussion because of security and related concerns. You will appreciate that the Commission cannot overlook the security concerns expressed by competent authorities," said the Election Commission in its reply. Read More

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