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EC Raids BJP Office On Poll Eve

A face-off between the Election Commission and the BJP ended after a day-long drama and protests in the high-profile Varanasi parliamentary constituency. The EC raided the saffron party’s regional office in Gulab Bagh in Varanasi and seized campaign material which was returned in the evening. The EC raided the BJP office on the grounds that the presence of campaign material in the BJP office a day before polling was “a violation of model code of conduct as the election campaign had ended on Saturday evening.”However, the campaign material was returned to the party in the evening and the case was closed as the material was not being used for campaigning.

EC officials seized about 274 T-shirts, 5000 pamphlets and lotus badges in large numbers.The raid at the BJP office resulted in an angry protest by party supporters, after which District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav and special election observor Pravin Kumar told the reporters that the case was closed.

BJP Reacts

BJP regional chief Laxman Acharya alleged that “the party was at receiving end of a conspiracy by the state and central government to disturb the electoral process as they feared huge support to NaMo.”The EC and police are hand-in-glove to defame the BJP. The BJP condemns this act”,he said. Linking the raid to the denial of permission for a Modi rally in Beniabagh, Acharya said that these were “deliberate attempts” to create controversy around the saffron party.

The BJP attacked the Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government for the raid, emphasizing that the Varanasi returning officer was acting at the instance of SP government in UP. According to the BJP, this was another example of Election officers’ bias against the party. BJP spokesperson Meenaksi Lekhi sought the intervention of the CEC.”The district authorities claim that they are working under the EC, but it seems that they are still working under state government authorities. I request the CEC to intervene”,she said.

This election controversy soon after the denial of permission for a Modi rally by the District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav and filing of FIR against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. This adds up to the list of controversies faced by the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

[IMAGE ATTRIBUTE: Deccan Chronicle]
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