Poll panel rejects Varun’s plea to transfer two top officialsApril 21st, 2009 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Election Commission Tuesday rejected Bharatiya Janata Party Pilibhit candidate Varun Gandhi’s request to transfer two top officials of the Uttar Pradesh district.
“A letter (from Varun Gandhi) has been received. The commission considered the letter. The EC did not find any reason to transfer district magistrate and superintendent of police in Pilibhit,” R. Balakrishnan, deputy election commissioner, told reporters here.
Varun Gandhi, who was in jail for his reported hate speeches against Muslims, was released April 16.
Facing charges under the National Security Act (NSA) and arrested March 28 for making inflammatory remarks against Muslims, Varun Gandhi accused the Uttar Pradesh government of political vendetta, and requested the Election Commission to transfer two top officials in his Pilibhit constituency.
On April 16, he shot off a three-page letter to the poll panel urging it to appoint neutral observers when he files his nomination papers April 22.
The BJP candidate said he feared the district administration may try to obstruct “my nomination process by rejecting my papers on some or the other false pretext”.
He requested the poll panel to transfer the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of Pilibhit, saying they had “demonstrated malafide” intent.
Balakrishnan said the poll panel was “monitoring the entire poll scenario in Pilibhit” and added that the nomination process would be “videographed”.
On Monday, Varun Gandhi approached the poll panel about his security to be strengthened. But Balakrishnan said that “security has to be provided by the state government”.
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