No end to row over Modi’s Haridwar rally

February 24, 2017 12:42 am | Updated 02:56 am IST - DEHRADUN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Over a week after polls were conducted in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Haridwar continues to be an issue of political and legal debate between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here.

While the Congress has been alleging that the rally in Haridwar was conducted without prior permission and was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), BJP leaders said that they had the required permission for holding Mr. Modi’s rally at Haridwar’s Rishikul Maidan.

After First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against Haridwar BJP workers over Mr. Modi’s rally, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt, while addressing the media on Thursday, alleged, “The FIR against our workers was registered under pressure from the Chief Minister [Harish Rawat].”

On Wednesday, Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) cum Haridwar city magistrate Jai Bharat Singh registered FIRs against BJP workers under Section 188 (disobedience of order given by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

That the ARO did not serve the BJP any notice while preparations were being made for the rally was proof that its was conducted with prior permission, Mr. Bhatt said.

“Rahul Gandhi ji and the chief minister continued their road show in Haridwar till 12 in the night, which was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct...A case has been filed against them and that is why they are taking revenge from the BJP,” Mr. Bhatt said.

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