Breaking his silence over the alleged provocative speeches by Varun Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Sunday asked his party candidates to exercise restraint while making election speeches and said the Election Commission had no right to ask any party not to field a particular candidate.
"I would expect every candidate to exercise restraint in his utterances," the BJP's prime ministerial aspirant told reporters in New Delhi.
Advani expressed surprise that the Election Commission asked the party not to field Varun Gandhi as the party's candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.
"As far as I remember, this is the first time in the last 60 years that the Election Commission has asked a party not to give ticket to someone. No rule or the Constitution gives such a right to the commission," Advani said.
The BJP leader tacitly defended Varun Gandhi, saying the charges were yet to be proved.
"It has not been proved till now whether the charges were wrong or right. Varun has said it is not his voice and the tapes are doctored," Advani said.
On the party's stance, he said it had already 'dissociated itself' from the contents of the Varun Gandhi speech. The party had taken a correct position as per the Constitution, he added.
Varun Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh, courted controversy after he allegedly made communally venomous speeches at party rallies.
The Election Commission came down heavily on him and suggested that he should not be fielded as a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP refused to do that and questioned the Election Commission's jurisdiction to suggest that.