“The Returning Officer of Chennai South constituency has no power to give permission’’

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar on Monday said he had asked the Returning Officer (RO) of the Chennai South constituency to explain the reasons for allowing a public meeting of BJP leader Narendra Modi on Sunday on the campus of an educational institution.

Guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India (EC) to candidates clearly state that a party or a candidate is not permitted to use educational institutions, including their grounds, for political campaigns and rallies.

However, on Sunday, Mr. Modi’s rally took place on the grounds of a private college.

Mr. Kumar said only the EC had the discretionary powers to allow use of such grounds after going through the cited reasons.

“Usually, it is allowed when there is no alternative,” he said. But, the RO does not have the power to provide such permission.

“I have asked the RO to indicate why the permission was given,” he said.

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