rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Last updated on: May 08, 2014 16:30 IST

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

     Next

Next

Top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including Arun Jaitley held protests against the Election Commission and the returning officer who had denied permission to Narendra Modi for holding a public meeting at a venue of his choice in Varanasi.

Along with Amit Shah and Ananth Kumar, Jaitley sat on dharna at the gate of the Banaras Hindu University attacking the alleged partisan attitude of Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav and demanded his removal.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: BJP workers shout slogans outside Banaras Hindu University
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

As per schedule, Modi will arrive at the BHU helipad in a helicopter before proceeding towards his central election office. He will drive through the city with his motorcade after addressing a rally in the nearby Rohaniya area.

Chaos prevailed in the area with a huge crowd of party supporters gathered there adding to the mess in the area contributed by the presence of a hospital and a market.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah lead protests in Varanasi
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Even before the top BJP leaders arrived for a dharna, party workers and local leaders had begun protesting from early in the morning, disrupting the traffic.

Rapid Action Force and police personnel were deployed in large numbers at the protest venue, while media was also present in large numbers.

The protestors were shouting slogans for removal of District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav, who is also serving as returning officer for Lok Sabha polls scheduled for May 12.

A clash broke out between BJP and AAP supporters at Lanka Chowk outside the Banaras Hindu University.

The scuffle took place when some AAP supporters holding brooms came to the protest site raising slogans in favour of Arvind Kejriwal. Immediately, several BJP supporters tried to block their way by pushing them.

The police and paramilitary forces soon swung into action and pacified both the groups and prevented the situation from escalating. After some time, AAP supporters also left the place.

The BJP protest came to an end at around 2 pm but many of the supporters had still stayed back.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: The protests outside the Banaras Hindu University
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The agitation soon spread to New Delhi where parallel protests were held. BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and VK Malhotra began a march from the party office in New Delhi to the EC.

The Delhi Police imposed prohibitory orders around the EC complex.

Section 144 of the CrPC restricting gathering of people was imposed as the BJP activists were stopped around the nearby All India Radio building and prevented from going towards the commission.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: A BJP supporter wearing a Modi mask joins the protest outside BHU
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Meanwhile, a delegation of party leaders led by Naidu and Prasad met EC officials.

Naidu said that the EC had called party leaders for a meeting over the refusal of Modi's rally.

"We have not come to protest here against EC, but the electoral officer of Varansai. We are going to meet EC's officials. In the meeting, we would request the EC to remove him so that fair elections would be done there," Naidu told reporters in New Delhi before going into the meeting.

Modi was on Wednesday denied permission for holding a public meeting at a venue of its choice here following which the party announced protests while cancelling all his programmes in Varanasi.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: Chaos outside BHU in Varanasi
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The party demanded immediate removal of Varanasi returning officer who late in the night on Wednesday said he has given the nod to four of the five events for which the BJP sought permission. The party, however, had rejected the gesture saying it came too late in the day.

On Friday, senior party leader Amit Shah had accused the returning officer of "playing politics" over the matter and granting approval late intentionally.

The approval came around 10 pm after a whole day of high drama when the BJP wrote four letters to the EC and the returning officer, while it said in the last letter that it did not want permissions now as there was no time left for preparations.

Shah said that such a late approval shows that the returning officer was working at the "behest" of someone else, because Jaitley had clearly written to him and to the EC at 8 pm that there was no time left for the rally now and therefore the BJP didn't need the permission anymore.

Click NEXT to read further…


Image: Supporters wave BJP flags as the join the stir
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

Varanasi vendetta: BJP protesters take over city

Prev     More
Prev

More

"This is a big joke with the people of Varanasi that the BJP candidate from here and its prime ministerial nominee was not being given permission to hold a rally," he said.

The administration claims that it was denying permission due to security concerns.

The reaction came after a late night approval for all four programmes of Modi, including a public rally at a small ground, Ganga aarti and a meeting with eminent citizens of the city, after a rally in nearby Rohaniya.

Approval was, however, not given for the rally in Muslim-dominated Beniabagh area.

While the Rohaniya rally had got a nod earlier, the other programmes had run into problems after which BJP had decided to cancel them.

He was scheduled to participate in several election-related programmes including public rallies in Beniabagh area in Varanasi after his Rohaniya rally.Thereafter, he was to attend the Ganga aarti -- a daily ritual in Varanasi in the evenings on Ganga ghats -- while he was also to meet about 100-150 prominent citizens of the city in the night at a hotel in the city.

Beniabagh is a crowded area in the heart of the city, while Rohania is a rural assembly constituency outside the main Varanasi city but within the Lok Sabha constituency.

 Both areas assume significance because of significant population of Muslim community.  Earlier, Modi had said that Muslims would love him once he comes to Varanasi.

 


Image: OB vans line up outside BHU in Varanasi
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     More