Varun Gandhi writes to poll panel, requests neutral observers (Lead)

April 18th, 2009 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Two days after he was released from jail on parole, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Varun Gandhi Saturday accused the Uttar Pradesh government of political vendetta and requested the Election Commission to transfer two top officials in his Pilibhit constituency.
Varun Gandhi, who was in jail for his reported hate speeches against Muslims, shot off a three-page letter to the poll panel urging it to appoint neutral observers when he files his nomination papers April 22.

“I have every reason to apprehend that in continuation of the personal and political vendetta unleashed on me since March 28, the state government of the ruling party in the state are most likely to stage manage events on May 1 or during the course of my election campaign thereafter to promote the ruling party’s political agenda,” he said.

He pointed out that Chief Minister Mayawati had said she was watching him closely and could take harsher action against him.

“I specifically apprehend that the state government shall act on its hostile attitude against me during my visit to district Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, on April 22 to create a public disturbance which it can conveniently blame on me,” the letter read.

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”.

The BJP candidate requested the poll panel to transfer the district magistrate and the superintendent of police of Pilibhit, saying they had “demonstrated malafide”, or alternatively issue directions to them against any illegal and partisan conduct during the nomination process and electoral campaign.

“It is further requested that in order to prevent any sort of mischief by the state government upon the occasion of my filing of nomination papers at Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission appoint neutral observers that may accompany me so that the entire episode may be under your scrutiny,” said Varun Gandhi.

Varun Gandhi was charged under the National Security Act (NSA) and arrested March 28 for reportedly making communally inflamed remarks against Muslims. On Thursday, the Supreme Court released him on a two-week parole after he gave an undertaking that he would not deliver hate speeches.

His parole extends up to May 1.

Earlier on Saturday Varun Gandhi met senior BJP leader L.K Advani who advised him to exercise restraint during the poll campaign.

-Indo-Asian News Service


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