Varanasi: Narendra Modi on Thursday launched an all-out war on the Election Commission accusing it of working "under pressure" and showing bias against him and took out a roadshow defying prohibitory orders over the denial of permission for him to hold a rally here.
On a day, Modi, whos is contesting from Varanasi, and other top BJP guns traded heavy fire, the Election Commission called a special press conference to reject accusations of bias and made it clear that it was "not afraid of anyone, any political party or any entity" in doing its job.
Capping an acrimonious day, Modi landed at the Banaras Hindu University campus helipad, near the venue of the party protests, and held an undeclared 5 km roadshow to the main BJP election office in Sigra, where a large number police and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed.
All along the route, he was greeted by saffron-cap wearing supporters, who kept on chanting 'Modi, Modi, Modi' as the cavalcade made a slow progress to the venue of a meeting where he held closed-door discussions with senior leaders, workers and intellectuals.
Additional District Magistrate (City) M C Singh said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr PC have been imposed in the city.
Modi also took pot-shots at the central government for "weak" foreign policies and said "Pakistan comes and kills our soldiers while widows of Kargil martyrs are cheated by the government."
Promising to make Varanasi a tourism hub, he said if tourists can be drawn to Gujarat, whose marketing be credited to Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, then Kashi is in a much better place to be a tourism hub.
The BJP Prime Ministerial candidate claimed that tourism is the fastest growing sector today with a 40 per cent growth rate and it benefits all segments of the society, including "chaiwalas".
He alleged that "the mother-son government in Delhi seems to be working on a slogan of mar Jawan, mar kisan" as a larger number of farmers have died in the last ten years than the total number of soldiers in all wars and fights against terrorists and Naxals put together.
"Policies of this mother-son government are forcing farmers to commit suicide and they have failed to deliver on promises of giving jobs to youth," Modi alleged.
Those present on the dais included senior VHP leader Ram Vilas Vedanti, who has been closely associated with Ram Janmabhoomi movement, as also Alka Rai, wife of late Krishnanand Rai, on whose murder charges strongman Mukhtar Ansari is in jail.
Ansari has declared support to Congress candidate Ajay Rai against Modi in Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, which has over 16 lakh voters including more than 3 lakh Muslims.
Modi was also presented with a trishul, one of the arms possessed by Lord Shiva, as a memento.
At the Modi rally here, people were also shown a four-minute video on Ganga river, stressing on the need to clean it on the same lines as the Sabarmati river in Gujarat.