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Modi denied permission to hold rally in Varanasi


New Delhi, May 7 :

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was Wednesday denied permission to hold a rally in Varanasi, the party said. It also sought the removal of the city’s poll official, alleging partiality.

The Bharatiya Janata Party alleged the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh had a hand in the decision to deny permission to Modi.

In a letter to the Election Commission, senior party leader Arun Jailtey said the poll official was verbally informed May 5 (Monday) about two rallies in Rohaniya and Veenia Bagh. A formal application was sent May 6 (Tuesday).

Rohaniya is a rural area on the outskirts of Varanasi, while Veenia Bagh is a popular destination for political rallies in the city.

“The effort of the returning officer is to prevent Modi from campaigning in Varanasi city,” Jaitley said, adding the poll official had cited security reasons.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Uttar Pradesh government had a hand in the denial.

“It must be for the first time in Indian elections that a candidate is being denied permission to hold rally in his own constituency,” Sitharaman said at a press conference.

“The district administration is obeying some kind of order from the SP (Samajwadi Party),” she said.

Jaitley, in his letter, 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.