As the Prime Minister hit the campaign trail in his Lok Sabha constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Varanasi on Saturday charged the administration with “selectively” pulling down its posters in the name of implementing the poll code.
However, a top police official dismissed as “baseless” the allegations levelled by the party and said the administration was acting in an “impartial” and “non-partisan” manner.
BJP spokesman Shrikant Sharma said, “The entire city is dotted with posters and banners put up by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state and its ally, the Congress.”
“However, we have observed that the district administration has been selectively pulling down those put up by our party, especially the ones featuring the Prime Minister Modi who is in the city”, he charged.
“The SP-Congress alliance is obviously in panic as it faces a certain rout in the assembly polls. The public response in this holy city will be there for all to see on a day when parallel programmes of Modi and Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi are scheduled”, he told reporters in Varanasi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in his Lok Sabha constituency on Saturday morning, is scheduled to address his first public meeting here, for the assembly polls, in the evening.
He offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Sharma said, “What is, however, shocking is that the administration is acting in such a partisan manner. The administrative machinery, once the model code of conduct is in place, becomes answerable to the Election Commission and no other authority.
“But the culture of serving political masters has become deeply ingrained in the state’s bureaucracy. All that will change by March 11, though when results will be out and the BJP will get an absolute majority and form the next government, paving way for restoring rule of law in the state”, Sharma added.
Dismissing the allegations levelled by Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Varanasi zone, N Ravinder said, “The allegation (of BJP posters and banners being selectively pulled down) are baseless.”
“We are discharging our duties in an impartial and non-partisan way, with an attitude of no fear or favour towards any political party and strictly in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Election Commission,” he said.