Arvind Kejriwal `invites` Narendra Modi for open debate

Four days ahead of ninth and final phase of Lok Sabha elections, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal invited Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for an open discussion.

Zee Media Bureau

Varanasi: Four days ahead of ninth and final phase of Lok Sabha elections, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday invited Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for an open discussion.

Kejriwal and Modi are pitted against each other in Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls on May 12. Congress`s Ajay Rai is also contesting.

Commenting on the controversy over denial of permission to BJP to hold rallies in Varanasi, Kejriwal asked the Gujarat Chief Minister why was he politicising the issue of prayer rituals at the Ganga when the Election Commission has given him the permission for `Ganga Aarti`.

Showing a letter from the Election Commission which gave Modi permission to perform `Ganga Aarti`, Kejriwal added, "To perform rituals, there is no need of permission from EC. Permission from EC is required only for political activities."
The AAP chief added that the presence of BJP`s top brass in Varanasi shows their nervousness.

On microblogging website Twitter, Kejriwal tweeted:

He went on to write that he was not stopped by anyone when he visited a temple near the banks of the Ganga.

Hitting out at Modi, Kejriwal said that intentions need to be clear.

"I will again go today (Thursday) with my wife (to the temple)," he said.

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

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.

A few days back, the district magistrate had also asked Kejriwal not to campaign in certain areas, following which the party alleged the officer was not working in a neutral manner.