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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah cancelled his election rallies in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts of Maharashtra on Sunday, as people did not turn up for the public meetings.

The BJP dismissed this claim, sticking to the version that the rallies were cancelled due to technical reasons, while NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik tweeted that “Amit Shah’s two public meetings in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur were cancelled. The airplane is an excuse, the real reason is people had not turned up,” with the hashtags “23 May, BJP gone”. But Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye confirmed to the official BJP narrative of “technical reasons only”. “Unlike the NCP’s public meetings, BJP’s rallies always receive a big response,” he said.

Union minister Hansraj Ahir and BJP MP Ashok Nete are seeking re-election as BJP nominees from Chandrapur and Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha seats respectively, which is to be conducted on April 11th. Lok Sabha elections to 48 seats in Maharashtra will be held in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29, and the results will be declared on May 23.

On last Friday, the Indian National Congress had moved the Election Commission (EC) alleging wilful non-disclosure of liabilities by BJP President Amit Shah and sought his disqualification from contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar. The party also demanded action against Amit Shah for filing a “false affidavit”.

Amit Shah’s was one of the first names announced from Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he served as the Chief Minister from 2001 to 2014. He is to contest from Gandhinagar, which is the home turf of BJP’s veteran leader L K Advani. Amit Shah’s candidature from Advani’s seat, while many leaders including Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi were kept out of contesting in the upcoming elections, had given way for controversy.

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