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India polls: Election chief hits back at Narendra Modi's charge of bias

Published on May 8, 2014 10:01 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's election commission hit back Thursday at claims of bias from frontrunner Narendra Modi, saying it "deplored" attempts to undermine its neutrality in the final stages of the marathon contest.

"There shall never be a situation or an occasion where the commission will deviate from neutrality," V.S Sampath, the head of the commission, said at a press conference in New Delhi.

"We also deplore any attempt by anyone to cast aspersions on the constitutional institution like the Election Commission of India at a very sensitive time like the present one that could cause long term damage to the independence and neutrality of the commission," he added.

Mr Sampath's comments came after Mr Modi accused the commission of bias by not sanctioning one of two rallies that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader had planned to stage in Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday.

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