Massive Crowds Throng Narendra Modi's Roadshow in Varanasi: Latest Developments

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Massive Crowds Throng Narendra Modi's Roadshow in Varanasi: Latest Developments

Crowds throng the streets as Narendra Modi arrives in Varanasi for the roadshow.

Varanasi:  Narendra Modi's motorcade is inching its way through Varanasi thronged by massive crowds that have lined the entire four km route to the BJP office. This is the BJP's response to its prime ministerial candidate being denied permission to hold a rally in the city on his last visit before Varanasi votes.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story
  1. Narendra Modi's chopper landed at the Banaras Hindu University or BHU helipad a short while ago, and drove out through the university gate where a huge crowd of people stood waiting to catch a glimpse of him. (Narendra Modi Roadshow in Varanasi Draws Huge Crowds)
  2. The BJP says this is not a roadshow; that it is just a candidate driving to his party office and so needs no permissions. Mr Modi is contesting his first parliament election from Varanasi, which votes on Monday, May 12. (Election Commission Can't Make You Win, Says Modi Amid Varanasi Row)
  3. Earlier today, BJP workers led by senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah protested against the Election Commission for three hours at the BHU gate. They demanded the removal of the Varanasi Returning Officer for denying Mr Modi permission to hold a rally at Benia Bagh in the heart of the city.
  4. In a searing speech in Rohaniya, just outside Varanasi, Narendra Modi said, "The Congress must understand. The people have defeated you, the Election Commission can't make you win." (Track Live Updates)
  5. He also said, "Why am I being stopped? My silence has more strength than my speech and Ma Ganga I will return tomorrow." (Modi Apologises to 'Ganga Maa', questions Election Commission's 'Neutrality')
  6. In Delhi, the Election Commission addressed a rare press conference in the middle of elections, taking umbrage at the BJP challenging its neutrality and the decision to disallow the rally. The EC said it "deplores attempts to cast aspersions on a constitutional body." (Election Commission's Sharp Rebuke to BJP Over Varanasi Protests)
  7. The BJP had planned three Modi events today. While permission for the rally was denied, clearance for the other two - prayers on the banks of the Ganga and a meet with 150 citizens at a local hotel - was received only at 2 am, Mr Jaitley told NDTV. (Modi Rally Permission Was Given Then Withdrawn: Arun Jaitley to NDTV)
  8. The BJP refused to hold the events allowed, saying permission came too late. Mr Jaitley said the party had initially been given permission to hold the rally at Benia Bagh, but it was later withdrawn. 
  9. The party has protested that Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, who is contesting against Mr Modi, was allowed to hold a rally in Benia Bagh some days ago. In Rohaniya Mr Modi said, "Is this not trampling my democratic rights? Should I not get the same opportunities as all other candidates?"
  10. Arvind Kejriwal, retorted, "If you only want to do Ganga arti, you don't need permission. You need EC permission for political activities." (Narendra Modi Trying to Politicize Ganga Aarti Issue, Says Arvind Kejriwal)




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