Sonia to address Shimla rally May 2

April 30th, 2009 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Shimla, April 30 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address an election rally at the historic Ridge here May 2, becoming the first national-level leader to visit Himachal Pradesh for campaigning these general elections.
“Sonia Gandhi will address her first election rally in the Himachal Pradesh capital May 2. She is likely to address a few more rallies in the state before May 13 (the day of polling),” state Congress chief Kaul Singh Thakur told IANS.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also invited its national leaders to address rallies in the state.

“Our prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani would address poll rallies at Solan and Bilaspur towns May 10,” BJP state unit chief Jai Ram Thakur said. “Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will address rallies at Mandi and Hamirpur towns May 7,” he added.

The police have made elaborate security arrangement during the visit of the national leaders.

Shimla superintendent of police R.M. Sharma said the Congress chief was scheduled to land at Annadale from where she would drive straight to the venue of the rally.

“We have made special security arrangements during the visit of the VVIPs in the state during elections,” he said.

The hill state has four Lok Sabha seats - Shimla (Scheduled Caste), Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur - and the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP, with the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC), merged with the Congress before the 2004 general elections, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) having virtually disappeared in the state.

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