Petition Challenging Modi's Election From Varanasi Deferred

Petition Challenging Modi's Election From Varanasi Deferred

The Allahabad High Court today deferred till October 31 hearing on a petition challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

Justice V K Shukla passed the order after being informed by the office of the Registrar General that the notice dated July 18 had not been served on the respondent (Modi) so far.

The court had said the notice "shall be issued by ordinary post as well as registered post and shall also be published in a newspaper having wide circulation in the area to be selected by Registrar General".

The court, while giving directions to ensure that notice was served on the respondent, fixed October 31 as the next date of hearing on the election petition filed by Ajay Rai, a Congress MLA, who had contested from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha election as his party's candidate.

Rai represents Pindra Assembly constituency which falls in Varanasi district but comes under Machhlishahar Lok Sabha segment.

Although Congress had fielded him from Varanasi since he was a "local", Rai ended up finishing third and forfeited his deposit in the high-voltage electoral battle wherein Modi trounced his nearest rival, Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of about 3.7 lakh votes.

In his petition, Rai has alleged discrepancies in the affidavit filed by Modi and that crores of rupees were splurged on his poll campaign even though Election Commission has fixed a limit of Rs 70 lakh per candidate for every constituency.

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