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Permission to hold BJP rally in Agra denied

District authorities in Agra have cancelled the permission granted to BJP for holding a farmers’ rally led by party leaders L K Advani and Varun Gandhi in Akola village on Sunday, on grounds that it could disturb law and order situation.

BJP sources said the party had received permission in writing from authorities eight weeks back to hold ‘Kisaan Swabhimaan’ rally in Fatehpur Sikri area in Agra, but last night senior police and administrative officials informed the party that it has been cancelled, fearing law and order problem. Claiming that the rally was for farmers and there was no political agenda, the party cancellation of permission amounted to trampling of democracy and freedom of speech.

They said about one lakh farmers from the state were scheduled to attend the rally.

‘The area where the rally was scheduled to be held has less than one per cent of minority population and is also about 200 km from riot-hit Muzaffarnagar,’ party sources said.

The denial of permission comes at a time when the state government is facing flak for communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district and adjoining towns that left over 40 persons dead. A statement from Varun Gandhi said, the permission for the rally has been cancelled on ‘flimsy grounds of threat to his security.’

‘It is clear that this is false as neither has there been any move to apprise me of this so called threat nor have there been any directions to security personnel,’ Gandhi said in a statement.

‘The government’s own failure to control law and order cannot be misused to muzzle political discourse and freedom within the state. In the last one year, the SP government’s increasing desperation has caused it to try and stifle all political opposition. This is a prime example,’ he said.

‘Today I issue a challenge to the UP government that no matter how many of my rallies it may cancel, the people of the state will rise up and defeat it,’ he said. State unit president of BJP Laxmikant Bajpai also condemned the decision and said, ‘If Samajwadi Party’s two-day national executive can be held there, why can’t BJP’s two-hour long rally be allowed.’
Agencies

Agencies

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