iconimg Saturday, August 01, 2015

Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 29, 2013
The people of Sikh and Punjabi-dominated west Delhi will not get the opportunity to witness prime minister Manmohan Singh speaking live ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections this year.

The Congress party has cancelled the prime minister’s proposed rally of November 30, which he was supposed to address from Tilak Nagar.

“The prime minister has a very tight schedule. He may not get time to address any rallies here (in Delhi),” Dikshit told reporters.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Kuljit Singh Nagra said the Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will be reaching Delhi on Saturday for a six-day trip. “The prime minister will be busy with the guests,” Nagra said.

The Congress leaders had earlier said that Singh along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will address public rallies in the run-up to Delhi polls.

Sources said the party is finding it tough to zero in on a venue for the prime minister’s rally. According to a senior Delhi Congress leader, the ground where Singh had addressed a public meeting ahead of 2009 parliamentary elections had already been booked for weddings. The party along with the PM’s security was now looking for another venue in its proximity.

Interestingly, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be addressing three public rallies on the same day, including one at the ground in Dakshinpuri in south Delhi where Rahul Gandhi had addressed the public on November 27.

Sources said the Delhi unit of the Congress was also trying to get Rahul to address another public rally, which the central leadership has now refused.