New Delhi/Lucknow : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday lashed out at the Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government for denying its prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani permission to hold a rally in Azamgarh. However, the charge was refuted by district authorities that insisted that an alternate venue had been provided.
“The ground for the refusal of permission (for holding a rally) was security. The BJP chose three venues including a stadium and a college ground and it was denied,” said BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj.
However, Azamgarh’s additional district magistrate, Rabindranath Godbole told IANS that the original venues for the proposed March 28 rally were rejected on security grounds but a substitute venue that had been earmarked was shot down by the party.
Election Commission officials also pointed out that one of the other reasons why the district authorities turned down the proposal was because it was against election rules to hold a rally in a college.
Earlier, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was called off due to security reasons and will rallies of leaders like L.K. Advani be cancelled now, Punj asked.
After kicking off the party’s campaign from Mathura, Advani was scheduled to address election meetings at Kushinagar, Maharajganj and Azamgarh constituencies along with firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath, who is contesting from the Gorakhpur parliamentary seat.
All these constituencies, part of the Gorakhpur division, will go to polls in the first of the five-phase elections April 16. The BJP has fielded Ramakant Yadav from the Azamgarh seat.
This small eastern town shot into news after the Batla House shootout in Delhi, in which two suspected members of the Indian Mujahideen and one police officer were killed, in September last year.
The two Indian Mujahideen members were from Azamgarh, prompting intensive raids and interrogation of several youths from the town.