Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Centre has declined to interfere with the March 29 Uttar Pradesh order detaining BJP candidate Varun Gandhi under the National Security Act.

Mr. Gandhi has been released on parole by the Supreme Court till May 1, when the case will come up for further hearing.

Following speeches he made on March 7 and 8 in Pilibhit, Mr. Gandhi was detained on the charge of inciting communal hatred, promoting ill-will between classes and communities and disharmony between groups of communities.

Soon after, the BJP candidate made a representation to the U.P. government alleging that the detention order was passed to prevent him from contesting the polls and that it was political vendetta.

During the hearing of Mr. Gandhi’s petition, the U.P. government informed the Supreme Court that the State had sought the Centre’s opinion on the issue. On Friday, the Union Home Ministry, in a communication to the State government, said “the Centre considered the representation [by Mr. Gandhi] and does not find any material or ground to revoke the order.”

Official sources in the Ministry told The Hindu that in almost in all such preventive detentions ordered by the State government, the Centre would not interfere.

No surprise: Varun

PTI reports:

Reacting to the Centre’s rejection, Mr. Gandhi said it was “prejudiced and politically motivated.” “I am faced with a hostile government both in the State and at the Centre. So, this decision comes as no surprise,” he said in a statement here.

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