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Varun still our candidate: BJP

Varun still our candidate: BJP
PTI
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First Published: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 01 00 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 09 15 PM IST
New Delhi: The BJP on Monday rejected the Election Commission’s advise to not to nominate Varun Gandhi as candidate in the Lok Sabha elections and declared that he would be the party candidate in Pilibhit.
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“He (Varun) is our candidate. We have turned down the advise (by the EC) because it is does not have the right to give such an advise,” party spokesman Balbir Punj said 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 elections....” the three-member Commission said in its advise to 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 advise, he said adding it was the collective decision of the party leaders.
Punj also questioned the Election Commission’s authority to advise 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 advise. It should refer the matter to an independent investigation agency,” Punj said.
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First Published: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 01 00 PM IST