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`No immunity from criticism for constitutional bodies'

Author: Times News Network
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 10, 2014

Introduction: Jaitley Slams EC's Call As `Unfair' In Blog

The BJP on Friday defended its attack on the Election Commission over denial of permission to Narendra Modi's rally in Varanasi, saying constitutional institutions have no immunity from criticism and took on the Congress for its “fake OBC “barb at Modi.

“Do constitutional institutions have immunity from criticism? I do not subscribe to the view that merely because an institution is created by the Constitution, it cannot be criticized,“ party leader Arun Jaitley wrote on his blog, a day after Modi launched an all-out war on the poll panel accusing it of working “under pressure“.

Jaitley said he was convinced that the decision against allowing Modi to hold a rally in his constituency was “unfair and a denial of right to campaign”.

“Both the returning officer and the Election Commission have been rightly criticized for this blunder so that in future their successors do not fall into the same error. I do not subscribe to a vague notion of selfcensorship based on an interinstitutional courtesy. My advice to the returning officer is that by denying the right to hold arally, he cannot restrict Modi’s campaign. Yesterday’s events proved that unfairness of the returning officer was given a fitting reply by the people of Varanasi,” he said.

The party refused to accept the EC’s plea that Modi was not given permission on security concerns and said had EC taken immediate action at its level, it could have saved such a situation. The party said while other leaders like Rahul Gandhi, who is a step above Modi on security threat, was given permission to campaign, Modi was denied permission to do so in the constituency where he is contesting.

“If Rahul Gandhi, who is a step above Modi on the security threat, and Akhilesh Yadav can get permission to hold their functions, then why is Modi not allowed to campaign in his own constituency? It is a serious issue,” party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said The party also hit out at Congress for its “fake OBC” barb against the, saying Modi’s OBC status was a major cause of worry for the ruling party.

Jaitley said though Modi had never made caste his identity and his appeal cut across castes and communities, the Congress worry was apparent as the ruling dynasty of Congress could not digest defeat at the hands of a commoner.

Modi must apologize: Cong he Congress on Friday T demanded that Narendra Modi apologize to the OBCs of the country for calling them “lower caste “for political gains.

The party said Modi's defence about twisting Priyanka Gandhi's “low-level politics“ remark to mean “low-level caste“ was so weak that it showed he did it deliberately for political purpose in the campaign. TNN
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