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Sonia’s rally denied permission

Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati will not allow Sonia Gandhi to address a public rally in her own constituency, but Sonia would still make the trip to Lalganj, report M Hasan and Umesh Raghuvanshi.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2008 10:47 IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati will not allow Sonia Gandhi to address a public rally in her own constituency.

The district administration of Rae Bareli on Monday refused permission to the Congress chief’s proposed rally at Lalganj on Tuesday, citing the law and order situation. It said Section 144 of the CrPC that prohibits gatherings was already in force in the area.

The refusal came within hours of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court order restraining for now the state government from canceling the land allotment for a railway coach factory at Lalganj.

The court took up the matter after a writ petition by the railway ministry and a PIL by a local farmer.

On Sunday, the state government announced that it has cancelled the allotment of land for the rail factory, a pet project of Sonia's. The court will next hear the issue on October 22.

But Sonia would still make the trip to Lalganj. “She will definitely go there,” Congress General Secretary in charge of UP Digvijay Singh said.

In a signal that the Congress would make it as a development versus personal aggrandizement plank in UP ahead of the general elections next year, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the Mayawati government’s action was “anti-people, anti-development”.

(Inputs from Delhi Bureau)