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BJP rejects EC's advice, Varun will contest poll

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 23, 2009 14:00 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday rejected the Election Commission's advice to it not to nominate Varun Gandhi as candidate in the Lok Sabha elections and declared that he would be the party candidate in Pilibhit.

"He (Varun) is our candidate. We have turned down the advice (by the EC) because it is does not not have the right to give such an advise," party spokesman Balbir Punj told media persons after meeting Varun.

He said he was speaking as the authorised spokesman of the party and this was the view of the party leaders after consultations among them.

In an unprecedented action, the Election Commission on Sunday night asked the BJP not to nominate Varun as its candidate in the Lok Sabha elections after holding him guilty of making communal speeches.

'Varun Gandhi does not deserve to be a candidate at the present general electionsÂ…' the three-member Commission advised the BJP.

Punj said in a democracy, it was the right of political parties to decide on who their candidates will be and it was not for the Commission to say that.

The BJP would not accept the Election Commission's advice, he said adding it was the collective decision of the party leaders. 

Punj also questioned the Election Commission's authority to advice against nominating Varun. "The entire episode smacks of prejudice and bias," he said.

"If the Election Commission is so concerned, then it should be forthright in giving the same suggestion in the case of Sanjay Dutt, M K Subba, Shibu Soren, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler," he said.

The BJP spokesperson also sought to question the competency of the Commission in deciding the veracity of the compact disc containing anti-Muslim speeches allegedly made by Varun.

"Where is the original CD? The Election Commission has no right to give such advice. It should refer the matter to an independent investigation agency," Punj said.

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