The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 3 , 2017

Amethi visit U-turn

Lucknow, Oct. 2: The Amethi administration today agreed to provide security to Rahul Gandhi during his three-day visit from Wednesday, shedding its initial resistance and going back on a request to postpone the trip.

"We wanted the MP to postpone his programme till October 5 because of festivals. But since his programme is intact, we will try our best to provide him security," district magistrate Yogesh Kumar said today.

On Saturday, Kumar had said the police would be busy maintaining law and order during Dussehra and Moharram and wouldn't be in a position to spare forces for the Amethi MP and Congress vice-president.

The Congress had alleged that the Yogi Adityanth-led BJP administration of Uttar Pradesh was too busy preparing to give Amit Shah a "red-carpet welcome" during a planned visit by the BJP president to Amethi on October 10. "Rahul is protected by the SPG. The administration knew it would take many weeks for the SPG to chalk out his (next) visit if it is postponed once. It wanted to focus on the BJP chief's visit. But we had rejected the request of the DM," state Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh said today.

He accused the "administration of trying to cancel Rahul's programme on a spurious ground". "It has never happened in past that the MP's visit had to be postponed because of a festival. We know the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Adityanath government are trying their best to target our leader one way or the other."

Congress sources claimed Rahul's visit had been planned so that he could meet workers and voters in Amethi ahead of his reported elevation as party president. Congress leader Sachin Pilot had said yesterday that Rahul may take as party chief "shortly after Diwali (October 19)".

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