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Sheila gets Ramlila for Cong rally

Since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are expected to attend the rally,getting the venue had become a prestige issue for the party.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: October 20, 2012 1:36 am

The Congress booked Ramlila Maidan for its November 4 political rally on FDI in retail after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s intervention as the date earlier clashed with the Communist Party of India’s (CPI) rally for farmers at the same venue.

Since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are expected to attend the rally,getting the venue had become a prestige issue for the party.

Sources said Dikshit’s intervention was required because the CPI had applied before the ruling Congress for Ramlila Maidan.

The North Municipal Corporation approved the Congress’s request for the venue for four days — November 2 to November 5 — after Dikshit’s Political Secretary Pawan Khera applied for it on behalf of the All India Congress Committee.

Sources said the two political parties agreed to adjust their rally dates,with Delhi Police acting as the mediator.

CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjan said: “We have told police that we will not be able to clear the ground till November 3. Our rally is on November 1,but the farmers will be bale to clear the grounds only by November 3 morning.”

DCP (Central) Devesh Srivastava said police had a meeting with CPI and Congress leaders. “We have given the no-objection certificate (NOC) to the CPI for October 31 and November 1. We agreed to give the NOC to the Congress for November 3 and November 4 for its rally. The CPI said it will wind up its programme by November 2,” he said.

“All that the Congress have to do now is submit an undertaking stating that it will abide by the rules and conditions. This has been communicated to Pawan Khera,” Srivastava said.

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