Rain spoils PM rally on ULFA chief’s home turf

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's election rally in Dibrugarh was cancelled on Tuesday due to a hailstorm but he was briefed on the security situation in the state that was a day earlier rocked by a series of explosions, Rahul Karmakar reports.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2009 17:12 IST

Threat from an area-specific tribal militant outfit forced cancellation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s election rally on Monday, which saw 10 persons being killed in serial blasts across Assam.

On Tuesday, it was Nature’s turn to play spoilsport, preventing the PM from addressing a Congress rally on United Liberation Front of Asom ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Barua. A spokesman of the outfit termed it “poetic justice”, since Singh’s rally coincided with its raising day.

Dibrugarh town in eastern Assam is barely 30 km from Jerai Chokoliboria, Barua’s native village. Any political rally or campaign in Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency by parties contesting the “Indian democratic circus” is thus construed as a challenge to the ULFA’s agenda of sovereignty.

“The PM’s aircraft landed at Mohanbarie Airport (near Guwahati) at 11.28 am, but the chopper that was to have flown him onto Chowkidingee Playground, the rally venue, could not take off owing to heavy rainfall,” said Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Gyanendra Tripathi.

The PM waited about 45 minutes for the weather to clear before flying back to New Delhi.

First Published: Apr 07, 2009 16:07 IST