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

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 6:18pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

In the most recent controversy surrouding BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the BJP has alleged "partiality" in the denial of permissions for Modi's rally that were scheduled for tomorrow.

The party has gone so far as to demand the removal of the city's polling officer over the incident. At a press conference in New Delhi, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the party was making a request to the Election Commission to recall Varanasi District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav for working in a biased and prejudiced manner against Modi.

In a letter to the Election Commission, BJP leader Arun Jailtey said the poll official was verbally informed of the rallies on May 5, while the formal application was sent May 6. 

Jaitley also said that 27 political workers were arrested while they were distributing pamphlets and were kept in custody for two and a half days, interfering in the party's campaign. Jaitley stated that the party also plans to hold protests against the official, terming the decision to deny venue as  "unprecedented" and "unheard of". "I don't know who is interfering but the returning officer of this constituency is a threat to free and fair election," Jaitley said. 

At a press conference, this evening, BJP declared protest rallies, led by Jaitley, Naqvi and Amit Shah. They announced that they planned to sit outside BHU in protest at 11 am tomorrow:

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Varanasi administration was obeying an "unwritten order" and there is an "undeclared understanding" between them and the ruling Samajwadi Party. She said it was for the first time a candidate was denied permission to hold a rally in his own constituency

However, reports suggest that the party was offered an alternative venue, which they turned down on the grounds of being  "too small".

The incident saw fall out on social media as well, with outraged BJP supporters condemning poll officials:

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