Free Press Journal

Modi to visit BHU before filing papers, Cong complains to EC


Varanasi: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is set to file his nomination from Varanasi Thursday after visiting the premier Banaras Hindu University (BHU), as per sources.

The Congress, however, has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission that university premises should not be used for political activities.

According to sources, Modi will land at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport of Varanasi Thursday and from there, he will take a helicopter ride to the BHU.

In the BHU, Modi will pay a floral tribute at the statue of university founder Madan Mohan Malviya, and then take another helicopter ride to Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, a state government-run university, according to sources.

He would then hold a road show from the Vidyapeeth compound to the office of returning officer where he will file his nomination.

The Congress, however, approached the poll panel, pointing out that university campuses cannot be used for political purposes.

“It is pertinent to mention here that Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth and Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya (BHU) are central and state universities, which cannot be allowed to be used for political purposes by the leaders of the political parties or any candidates…” the Congress said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner V.S.Sampath Tuesday.

“…as such, Modi cannot use the premises of both universities for landing or use their names or premises in any manner whatever, for filing his nomination”.

The Congress letter pointed out that in 2001 then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were not permitted to use Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth premises.

The letter also pointed out that it is examination time, and such a visit may disturb students.

“The executive council of these universities do not allow use of university premises or the ground for any such purpose nor till date it has so permitted any political parties or the leaders. It is also the time when examination are going on in the universities,” it said, adding there is enough place available in Varanasi other than the universities to land Modi’s helicopter.

“It is submitted that use of compound, ground or in any other manner any portion of the universities cannot be allowed to Narendra Modi or BJP,” the Congress said, adding “how and under what pressure such permission has been granted to Shri Modi and the BJP is a matter of investigation…”. It urged the commission to take “urgent steps”.