Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: With the BJP taking to streets protesting against the Election Commission`s refusal to grant permission to its prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi to hold rallies in Varanasi, the Congress on Thursday called it an act of desperation.
Addressing a press conference here, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “BJP is getting a bit desperate that is why they are making outrageous attacks on Election Commission. BJP`s statements against the Election Commission is an act of desperation.”
Accusing the main opposition party of showing disrespect to constitutional institutions, the Finance Minister said, “I don`t agree with the comment that Election Commission is weakest. In fact, the poll panel has done tremendous job so far.”
In a direct attack on BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who today accused the poll panel of being biased, Chidambaram said, “When PM candidate of BJP makes outrageous remarks on the Election Commission, it reveals the character of the person and not poll panel.”
The reactions from the Finance Minister came on a day when the BJP chided the poll body over its denial to grant permission to Modi and said that all his scheduled programmes in Varanasi have been cancelled except for one rally.
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.
However, 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 CM also appealed Bharatiya Janata Party workers to remain calm and maintain discipline.
Senior BJP leaders led by Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, state president Laxmikant Bajpai and Amit Shah will stage a sit-in outside the Banaras Hindu University gate, protesting against the poll panel.