Monday, December 12, 2011

‘Denied’ major venues, Congress will take on Modi from Karanpara

Rajkot: With the district administration reportedly rejecting its applications for open grounds in Rajkot, the Congress has decided to hold its day-long Satkarma fast — to counter Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Sadbhavana Mission fast — at a small ground in busy and congested Karanpara on December 17.

Rajkot Congress MP Kunvarji Bavalia, who will lead the Satkarma fast, said, “(The fact) that major grounds have been booked in the name of organisations affiliated to the BJP on same date shows the BJP is quite fearful of the Congress here.”

According to the Congress, the district administration rejected their four applications for an open space citing non-availability. Party leaders said they could not get Lal Bahadur Shahtri ground, the oldest and the biggest in old Rajkot, as it is booked for a religious function, so is Chaudhar School ground.

They said the administration also expressed inability to allot them Viran Science School ground, saying it is booked by a Leo Group, promoted by local BJP leader Kashup Shukla.

The Congress was also reportedly denied permission to organise fast on the Rashtriya Shala Campus, an educational institute established by Mahatma Gandhi. The trust-run campus has been mired into a controversy for commercialisation of trust properties by renting those out to private groups.

In contrast, Modi will be holding his fast programme at the spacious Race Course Ground.

Over 20 committees have been formed to take care of different departments related to Mod’’s fast, including chair arrangement, stage decoration, security, light and sound, recording, live webcast and allotting cards to those going to fast with the CM.

As it has been made a government function, the district collector and Rajkot municipal commissioner will supervise the preparations.

Rajkot is politically important for both the parties. While it has been a BJP bastion since the Jansangh days, the Congress recently made inroads, first by capturing rural areas like Jasdan and Dhoraji, and then by wresting a Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in the last general elections.


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