After prolonged dilly-dallying, the Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday gave a go-ahead to a proposed public rally to be addressed by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Mirzapur May 18, a party functionary said.
"The district administration chose to sleep over our request and we were made to wait for a formal official permission, which is mandatory for any public rally," Mirzapur District Congress Committee president Mata Prasad Dubey told reporters in Mirzapur.
The Mirzapur district magistrate, who had been sitting over an application for the rally, hurriedly granted the permission Sunday morning, after the issue was raised in a section of the electronic media, he said.
The allegation was denied by the state government. A government spokesman said: "No permission was denied; the application was received in the DM's office Saturday and the permission was given Sunday morning."
The rally was planned as part of the 10 "chetna yatras" (awareness marches) Rahul Gandhi launched in different directions from Ambedkar Nagar April 14, the birth anniversary of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar.
The marches were undertaken as part of Rahul Gandhi's efforts to revive the Congress in the state in the party's 125th year.