Modi rally in Delhi today, Congress tells poll panel: BJP can't use Red Fort

RallyBJP's Delhi unit has organised one of Modi's three rallies on Saturday near the Red Fort.

On the eve of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's election rallies in Delhi, the Congress moved the Election Commission to restrain the party from using a Red Fort replica at his rallies.

Modi had delivered a speech in Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh with a replica of the Red Fort erected behind the stage. The party's Delhi unit has gone one step further by organising one of his three rallies on Saturday near the Red Fort. For the party, Modi's presence in the last leg of the campaign for Delhi polls could better its election prospects.

"Red Fort is a national monument and government property which cannot be used by BJP for election campaign directly or indirectly," AICC (legal department) secretary K C Mittal said in a formal complain to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath.

Mittal asked Sampath to issue necessary orders to prohibit the BJP from such use of the Red Fort.

The BJP hit back by targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who cancelled his public address in Delhi on Saturday. The Congress sought to play down the taunt, claiming it was the Prime Minister's Office that took the decision. According to the Congress, the PM was busy on Saturday since Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were reaching the Capital.

The BJP claimed that the Congress cancelled Singh's rally as it coincided with Modi's public address. "First of all, it was not the Congress which cancelled the rally but the Prime Minister's Office. Congress workers were very excited about the Prime Minister's proposed rally and they are a bit disappointed and hurt after the cancellation. But this is also true that the Prime Minister has his engagements," Shakeel Ahmed, AICC general secretary in-charge for Delhi, said.

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