The Congress on Saturday asked the EC not to grant Prime Minister Narendra Modi permission to travel with his motorcade in Varanasi on polling day as this would amount to a roadshow, a “violation” of the poll code. Also Read - Delhi Chalo: Are Autos, Taxis Going Off Roads In National Capital? Autorickshaw Union Clears Doubts
In a letter to the Election Commission and the local poll authority, the party’s district unit said in such a situation its own candidate would also be forced to move about in a cavalcade which could lead to “unnecessary confrontation”. Also Read - Amid Farmers Protest, PM Modi Says New Agricultural Reforms Have Given Them Legal Protection
Modi, who is seeking re-election from Varanasi constituency, is expected to spend at least a part of the day in Badrinath. Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation
The Congress said it had learnt that the prime minister would stay in Varanasi on Sunday and his movement might even affect traffic, which would cause hindrance to voters trying to reach polling booths.
It said that even if his cavalcade moved without affecting or halting traffic, it would still seem like he was holding a roadshow and asked the poll body not to grant him permission for it.
Congress district unit president Prajanath Sharma said it would create a situation of an undeclared roadshow being held during the period when canvassing by candidates is restricted.
He claimed that in Maninagar, Ahmedabad, Modi merely went to vote, but his party had planned a roadshow with a prearranged crowd.
Sharma claimed the prime minister had also waved to the crowd standing on a moving vehicle.
The party claimed that a large number of outsiders were staying in Varanasi’s hotels, guesthouses and even in BJP leaders’ houses despite the canvassing being over and demanded that a raid be conducted at these places to remove them from the city.