Thousands of vehicles ferrying Congress supporters to the party's rally at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday were allowed free passage at the toll plaza of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.
Vehicles, including trucks and other commercial vans, which were used to ferry supporters from Gurgaon, Rewari, Mewat and other parts of Southern Haryana passed through the expressway.
But, the toll operators did not stop any vehicle bearing flags and posters of the Congress party. The boom barriers at both the toll plazas (Delhi-border Sirhaul and Kherki Daula) were lifted for all rally-bound vehicles.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which levies entry tax on each commercial vehicle entering the national capital through expressway, also did not charge any tax from these vehicles.
Officials of the toll operator firm, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) that has already lost toll revenue to the tune of R10 crore following a ban on toll collection imposed by the high court in September, refused to comment on the matter.
Sources in the DGSCL confirmed the loss of lakhs of rupees due to free passage given to rally-bound vehicles. The Gurgaon police, however, denied of any 'special' instructions being issued to the toll operator for allowing free passage to rally-bound vehicles. "We have no knowledge of rally-bound vehicles being allowed free-passage. There were no instructions to the toll authorities in this regard," ACP (Traffic) Ravinder Tomar said.
Many Congress leaders said that vehicles which were part of their convoy enjoyed a toll-free ride on the expressway.
A Haryana Congress leader and MLA Rao Dharampal said that he led a convoy of about 1000 vehicles carrying party supporters to the rally.
"Our convoy did not face any problem at the toll plaza as the boom barriers were lifted without our people paying toll charges. We had supporters from neighbouring districts such as Mewat and Mahendergarh. How come they can charge toll from us? Haryana government is already planning to take over this toll plaza," the MLA said.
Madan Lal Grover, member of Pardesh Congress Committee (PCC), who claimed to have led 325 vehicles to the rally, also said none of the vehicles in his convoy had to stop at the toll plaza.
A toll collection staff said on the condition of anonymity that he had clear-cut instructions from senior officials to not to charge toll from the vehicles carrying Congress flags.