No permission for Sonia’s Bhopal rally

October 14th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiBhopal, Oct 14 (IANS) The Congress in Madhya Pradesh is finding it tough to get a place for the Oct 19 rally of its president Sonia Gandhi. While the Congress alleges that the Lal Parade ground, where it proposes to hold the rally and where all the political rallies are normally held, is not being provided to them by the administration under the pressure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, the Special Armed Forces (SAF), to which the ground belongs, and the district administration deny the charge.

“We wanted the ground for our president’s rally on Oct 19 but we have been denied it. The state government doesn’t want Gandhi’s rally here,” alleged state Congress chief spokesman Manak Aggarwal.

SAF Commandant Sanjiv Shammi told IANS: “We have requested the Congress to decide some other date because we are going to celebrate the Martyr’s Commemoration Day which falls on Oct 21 and the ground would be occupied for the preparations of the same on Oct 19.”

Bhopal District Collector Manish Rastogi, however, said no one had approached him for the permission of any rally on the Lal Parade ground on Oct 19.

“Even otherwise, the ground cannot be spared on this date due to the Martyr’s Day function to be organized by the cops,” he said.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Suresh Pachouri told a press conference: “The permission for holding the Congress president’s rally was denied by the state government saying the ground was a high-risk area.”

He alleged the permission was denied under pressure from the state government.

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