BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani on Saturday came out in support of Varun Gandhi, under fire for his alleged hate speeches, and said it was the opposition which had made him a "poster boy".
He accused the Election Commission of exceeding its brief by suggesting BJP should not field him as a candidate in the election. "We did not make Varun Gandhi a poster boy. It is the others who give publicity.
Most of the time, our opponents have made him a poster boy," Advani told PTI. Advani attacked the Election Commission's suggestion that Gandhi should not be given nomination by BJP as the poll panel had found him guilty of making inflammatory speeches in his constituency Pilibhit.
"The case of Varun Gandhi got wide publicity as the Election Commission did something unprecedented. I was surprised. I support Varun because EC has done an illegal thing as the charge against him has not been proved," Advani said.
Without naming actor Sanjay Dutt, who is set to contest from Lucknow as Samajwadi Party candidate, he said "one who has been convicted is contesting from Lucknow but the Election Commission has not said anything."
Advani addressed election meetings for BJP candidates in Padrauna and Maharajganj areas of Uttar Pradesh. Some of the locals raised slogans of "Varun Gandhi zindabad" during Advani's speech.