BJP backs Varun Gandhi, accuses EC of bias
A day after the Election Commission held BJP candidate Varun Gandhi guilty of inciting communal hatred, the saffron party today charged the commission of being biased and refused to drop him. The BJP said that Election Commissioner Navin Chawla was close to the Gandhi family, which may have influenced the EC verdict. See Specialindia Updated: Mar 23, 2009 15:16 IST
The tension between the BJP and the Election Commision seems to be escalating. Just a day after the Election Commission held BJP candidate Varun Gandhi guilty of provocative speech, the BJP lashed out against the EC calling it biased. BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj, on Monday, announced befoe the media that Varun Gandhi will remain their candidate from Pilibhit.
According to media reports, the BJP said that Election Commissioner Navin Chawla was close to the Gandhi family, which may have influenced the EC decision.
The Election Commission on Sunday condemned and censured BJP candidate Varun Gandhi, 29, for a hate speech delivered in Pilibhit, UP, on March 7 and found no merit in his contention that the tapes of this speech were doctored.
The EC conceded its inability to debar a person from contesting elections but recommended that the BJP not field Gandhi as a candidate. It also directed the UP government to expedite its investigation.
The EC noted that it could not “impose disqualification” on Gandhi unless he were convicted or held guilty by a court of law.
The EC order said Gandhi neither specifically accepted nor rejected the contents of the two speeches. The EC said the onus of proving that the tapes were doctored now lay with Gandhi.
Varun Gandhi filed his second reply to the Election Commission.
First Published: Mar 23, 2009 11:04 IST