Tension erupted in the city on Saturday when hundreds of Samajwadi Party workers claimed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow in Varanasi earlier in the day was taken out without due permission and gheraoed the Town Hall ahead of his rally scheduled inside.
The Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the “unauthorised” roadshow of Modi and urged the SP, its alliance partner for Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, to do likewise.
Trouble began around 6.30 PM, minutes after a joint roadshow of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his wife and SP MP Dimple Yadav crossed the Maidagin locality, a stone’s throw from the Town Hall.
A section of SP workers, who had come out on the streets in large numbers and were walking beside the leaders’ vehicle, dispersed and headed towards the Town Hall, surrounded the premises and started raising slogans, sending police and administrative officials in a tizzy.
Some of the officials rushed to pacify the agitated SP workers, while others got busy preventing the BJP activists, who had begun to gather to attend the PM’s rally, from picking up a quarrel with the other side.
The workers of the BJP and the SP had clashed barely two hours ago, while the roadshow of Rahul, Akhilesh and Dimple was crossing the Chukaghat locality.
The SP workers raised slogans alleging that Modi was scheduled to simply visit and pay obeisance at two temples but he ended up taking out a roadshow, travelling in an open vehicle, in a virtual show of strength in his parliamentary constituency though no permission had been sought for the same from the administration.
The SP workers relented after being requested by the officials that they do not obstruct the Prime Minister’s rally and lodge a formal complaint, if they had any grievances.
Meanwhile, a written complaint was lodged by the district unit of the Congress with regard to Modi’s roadshow.
“District Congress president Praja Nath Sharma has submitted a written complaint before the EC underscoring that the PM’s roadshow had been taken out without obtaining due permission,” UPCC spokesman Kishore Varshney told PTI over phone.
“Sharma has also urged the SP to lodge a similar complaint before the poll panel. We hope our alliance partner will heed the suggestion,” he added.