The Greater Noida district administration has refused permission to the Congress to hold its farmers’ convention on July 9, fearing a revival of the rural unrest seen in May.
General secretary Rahul Gandhi was supposed to be the chief guest at the kisan maha panchayat, which was expected to take place in Bhatta Parsaul, the scene of a bloody farmer agitation against the Yamuna Expressway, or the Jewar area. Now the Congress is considering Noida as an alternative venue.
Additional district magistrate OP Arya told Hindustan Times: “Permission has been denied on security grounds. However, if the Congress decides, we can consider giving permission in some Noida area.”
On Wednesday Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi visited Bhatta-Parsaul and asked party leaders to prepare for the event.
Highlighting the allegedly poor law and order situation, Joshi told media persons: “Even today (Friday), when I met some women at Bhatta Parsaul, one alleged when she had gone to relieve herself in the fields she was subjected to molestation by some men in uniform…”
Joginder Singh Awana, executive member of the UP Congress committee, said: “The district administration says the situation in Bhatta is still tense. And Jewar too is in the same region where farmers have been agitating. Therefore, permission cannot be granted due to security problems. The administration says it cannot provide security to a large number of VVIPs in that area. They have however suggested to the party to hold the rally at Noida, where they can consider the option.”