The Telegraph
Thursday , May 8 , 2014
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Denied public meet at Varanasi, Modi questions EC's neutrality

Ahmedabad, May 8 (PTI): Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi on Thursday questioned the Election Commission’s neutrality after it denied him permission to hold a meeting at a congested venue in Varanasi.

Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, offered “profound apologies” to river Ganga for not being able to perform 'arti'.

District authorities in Varanasi have already given permission for Ganga Pooja.

”It is unfortunate that EC is not concerned about the institution's neutrality. That is why our 'karyakartas' (workers) have to embark on a Satyagraha,” Modi said on Twitter.

He also made an appeal to his party workers to maintain peace while protesting EC's refusal to allow public meets.

”I appeal to my Karyakarta sisters and brothers to maintain peace & ensure that people do not face any difficulty,” the BJP strongman said.

Modi also sought apologies from ‘Ma Ganga’ (Ganges river) and indirectly hit out at EC stating that mother's love is above politics.

”My profound apologies to Ganga Maa for not being able to perform aarti today. Wish these people know that a mother's love is above politics,” Modi tweeted.

The BJP has on Wednesday decided to sit on 'dharna' in front of Varanasi Sub Divisional Magistrate's office against EC's decision to deny permit for three campaign programmes of Modi from Varanasi, where he is contesting against Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal and Congress' Ajay Rai.

BJP had earlier sought permission to hold a public rally at crowded Veeniya Bagh area, but the Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav denied it citing security reasons.

However, the Returning officer had suggested an alternative spot to hold their public rally but the BJP did not accept.

Seeking removal of Varanasi Returning Officer, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had on Wednesday said that he along with his senior party leaders including Uttar Pradesh’s election in-charge of the party, Amit Shah will hold a protest outside Banaras Hindu University as well as in front of the EC in Delhi.