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Gujarat police had not said Modi rally should not be held: Jaitley

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday discounted claims that senior officials of Gujarat police had considered undesirable the holding of Narendra Modi’s rally at Beniyabagh in Varanasi. “This is a factually incorrect statement communicated to election commissioner H.S. Brahma,” Jaitley said, claiming that the Gujarat police personnel were being misquoted.

Brahma had earlier said that a Gujarat police official, who was part of the advance security liaison team of the BJP prime ministerial candidate, had “indicated” that the chosen ground for holding the rally was not a “desirable” place for the VIP (very important person) to address his rally. The Gujarat police official said it would “not be possible” to hold a rally at the venue as it was “highly congested” and “complicated”, Brahma had said. Jaitley said, “I personally and along with me Amit Shah repeatedly spoke to Gujarat police officers who were there. They went to the district magistrate and said we have no objection, please allow this rally,” adding that they were misquoted. Speaking to senior journalist Karan Thapar on Headlines Today, Jaitley said the reason for the cancellation of BJP’s public meeting at Beniyabagh conveyed to the party was that in 1991 there was a problem after a rally and some other reasons being given were “afterthoughts”. He was asked whether it was proper to raise questions about the Election Commission, the way Modi had done. “Everbody uses their own phraseology...Even though I did not use the word partisan, he (Modi) did. How do you rationalise a decision or can anyone rationalise a decision that at a particular venue three parties would be allowed, one will not be allowed,” he said. Jaitley said the key issue was fairness and Modi had not been allowed to campaign in his own constituency.

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