Kiran Bedi questions Election Commission over Narendra Modi`s rally issue

Kiran Bedi questioned the poll panel over the issue of BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi being denied permission to hold rally in Varanasi due to security reasons.

Last Updated: May 09, 2014, 00:02 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Former cop and social worker Kiran Bedi questioned the poll panel over the issue of BJP`s PM candidate Narendra Modi being denied permission to hold rally in Varanasi due to security reasons.

Bedi posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter - “Did the Election Commission lack experienced law and order management inputs that it took an unrealistic decision of denying Modi his right?”

In another post she said that maybe the administration was against the Gujarat CM.

“I recall I had tweeted some days ago that it appears its Modi versus rest of political parties in Varanasi. Now it appears its administration plus.”

She also tweeted as to how could a candidate be denied to hold permission to hold rally in his own constituency.

“How can you deny a candidate from holding a rally in his own constituency? District administration has erred by barring Mr Modi his basic right.”

Modi today held an unprecedented drive-through in Varanasi after a stand-off with local administration and election authorities.

After addressing a rally in nearby Rohaniya, Modi arrived in the temple city in a helicopter and landed at Banaras Hindu University helipad. Thereafter he began his drive-through towards the party`s central election office in Sigra area in the heart of the city.

He was denied permission to hold a rally in the heart of the city due to security concerns but the BJP and Modi accused the poll panel of being biased and demanded the removal of the returning officer.
They also held a dharna in Varanasi today.

Meanwhile, unfazed by BJP`s all-out attack, the Election Commission today rejected its accusations of bias in denying permission to Narendra Modi`s rally in Varanasi and made it clear that it was "not afraid of anyone, any political party or any entity" in doing its job.

At a hurriedly-called press conference in the national capital, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath strongly defended the action of Varanasi Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav, saying his decision was based on "professional advice" and ruled out his removal as demanded by the BJP, PTI reported.
"When the security and suitability issues are involved, the Election Commission naturally will go by the professional advice taken at the district level," the CEC said responding to attacks by BJP.

With PTI inputs