BJP denies refusing venue for Sonia’s Bhopal rally

October 16th, 2008 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiBhopal, Oct 15 (IANS) Refuting the Congress’ charge that the Madhya Pradesh government was not permitting party president Sonia Gandhi to hold a public rally here, a minister Wednesday said he was ready to not only help arrange the meet but also to arrange a large crowd.In the war of words soon after Tuesday’s announcement of the assembly polls in the state on Nov 25, state Congress president Suresh Pachouri had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state of pressuring the bureaucracy not to provide land for Gandhi’s rally, scheduled for Sunday.

In response, state Public Works Minister Kailash Vijaygargiya said Wednesday, “why talk about the venue, I am ready even to extend help to arrange a large crowd for Gandhi’s public meeting at Bhopal or elsewhere in Madhya Pradesh, if the Congress wished so.”

Denying Pachouri’s allegation that the government had influenced police authorities for not providing the historic Lal Parade ground here for Gandhi’s public meeting, Vijayvargiya told reporters: “The police had offered to make the ground available on any day after Oct 21 as preparations were already under way for the Police Commemoration Day parade.”

Vijayvargiya also advised the Congress to opt for the Jamboree Maidan in the BHEL township area where BJP leader L.K. Advani recently addressed a public meeting.

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