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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s proposed march on Friday to hand over a memorandum to Governor Ram Naik on the prevailing situation in UP has been cancelled due to security concerns.
Sources said that the Governor had agreed to meet Rahul at 8:30 pm on July 29 but with the administration’s denial of permission to Rahul, the meeting at the Raj Bhavan has become uncertain. While there remains no official confirmation on whether the meeting would take place, senior Congress leaders said they would wait until tomorrow before cancelling the appointment as there were suggestions that the state leadership could still meet the Governor and submit the memorandum on Rahul’s behalf.
Gandhi was scheduled to take a 12-km-long walk from Rama Bai Ambedkar ground (where he is scheduled to hold a one-on-one interaction with booth-level workers) to the Raj Bhavan but it has been cancelled after the administration refused to give permission for it, Congress’ state communications department chairman Satyadev Tripathi said.
The administration told us that Gandhi is an SPG protectee and therefore permission cannot be given to him for a foot march, Tripathi said.
Lucknow District Magistrate Raj Shekhar, however, claimed that the Congress was yet to submit an application. “Let the application come first, then we would examine it in accordance with the given situation.”
Congress leaders, on the other hand, said they had “personally” met the DM on Tuesday when the latter had “denied us the permission”.
Majority of the senior leaders who have been given responsibilities for conducting the assembly elections in the state are Rajya Sabha MPs, and had left for Delhi to attend Parliament session soon after the three-day yatra from Delhi to Kanpur ended.
Party leaders here said that they are expecting state president Raj Babbar to come on Thursday, a day before the grand meet where Rahul will interact with party’s booth-level workers and office bearers during the “UP Udghosh” programme and take their feedback on matters concerning the party organisation in view of the coming Assembly polls. For the interaction, workers and office bearers will have to get themselves registered, Congress has declared.