Vadodara: Madhusudhan Mistry, who is running against Narendra Modi in Vadodara, has been granted bail shortly after he was arrested for ripping down posters of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. Mr Mistry, a Congressman, was filmed while trying to replace Mr Modi's advertisements with his own, with help from supporters. He has been booked for damage to public property. (Watch)
After reviewing footage from news channels, the local police has filed a case of vandalism against Mr Mistry, 69, who is a General Secretary of the Congress and is considered to be close to the party's young vice-president, Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP has put over a thousand hoardings of Mr Modi across the city. The party had booked all major advertisement kiosks and billboards in Vadodara more than a fortnight ago. Mr Mistry, after being named as Mr Modi's challenger from Vadodara, demanded an equal share in the space allocated for putting up election-related posters. The municipal corporation refused, arguing that these locations have already been allotted to the BJP.
Mr Mistry told NDTV today that police and district officials were giving the BJP unfair and blatantly preferential treatment. (Full coverage: India Votes 2014)
Mr Modi is running for Parliament from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. This is his first national election; he is currently a member of the Gujarat state legislature.
The Congress has yet to announce who will run against the 64-year-old BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh.
Under Mr Modi, the BJP is expected to deliver one of its strongest performances ever. Opinion polls say though it will get the maximum seats, it will fall short of a majority. (The Final Word: India's Biggest Opinion Poll)
Mr Mistry, 69, is a Member of Parliament. He is a General Secretary of the Congress and is considered to be close to the party's young vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the campaign for the national election. He is in-charge of the party's affairs in Uttar Pradesh.