EC denying level playing field to Modi: Jaitley

New Delhi : BJP leader Arun Jaitely Thursday accused the Election Commission of denying a “level playing” field to the party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi by not allowing him to hold a rally in Varanasi, from where he is also contesting the Lok Sabha election.

“The requirement of free and fair elections is providing a level playing whereby allowing leaders of other political parties to hold rallies. By denying the same right to Shri Narendra Modi violates the fundamentals of a free and fair election,” Jaitley said in a statement.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said that while his party welcomed the poll panel’s statement “re-affirming its independence and commitment towards conducting free and fair elections”, it did not accept the EC’s argument that Modi’s rally was not allowed in Beniabagh due to “security grounds”.

He alleged that permission for holding the rally was first granted and later “revoked” by the EC.

“The reasons stated for rejection of permission is that in 1991, tension took place after a rally is not relevant. In the last 23 years, hundreds of the rallies have been held at Beniabaghh including by the BJP. Nothing untoward has happened in all these rallies. Even in the 2014 election, rallies have been held by (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Akhilesh Yadav and (Aam Aadmi Party chief and Modi rival) Arvind Kejriwal at Beniabagh itself,” he contended.

Stating that over 450 rallies have been conducted by Modi during the poll campaign where “no tense incidents have taken place”, Jaitely said that there was no reason for any tension in Varanasi alone.