Petition challenging Modi’s election from Varanasi

Ajay Rai, who contested as Congress’ candidate from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha polls, today filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from that parliamentary constituency.

In his petition, he alleged that in his affidavit Modi had left blank columns relating to his wife Yashoda Ben’s PAN card details and her income which violated Supreme Court’s directions.

Rai has also alleged that though the Election Commission had laid down that a candidate in a Lok Sabha poll must not spend more than Rs 70 lakh during electioneering, crores were spent during Modi’s campaign.

He claimed that a large number of BJP leaders had prolonged stays at luxury hotels of Varanasi to oversee the election arrangements there.

He also alleged that T-shirts and caps bearing Modi’s name and image were distributed among the people on a large scale which was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Significantly, Rai, who is a sitting MLA from Pindra assembly segment of Varanasi district, had finished third in the Lok Sabha election wherein he also ended up losing his deposit.

Modi, contesting his first election outside Gujarat, registered a stunning victory by defeating his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a massive margin of nearly 3. 71 lakh votes.

After becoming Prime Minister, Modi resigned the Vadodara seat from where he had won by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes and retained Varanasi.

The high court reopens tomorrow after a month-long vacation.

Rai’s petition, which has been filed in the registry, is likely to be placed before the Chief Justice who may subsequently nominate a bench for hearing the matter.