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Congress plenary: Hotels full in Hyderabad
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 18, 2006 14:55 IST
The twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad are virtually 'under siege' with over 15,000 delegates descending here from Friday onwards for the three-day 82nd Congress plenary slated for January 21 to 23.
Almost all the hotels -- big or small -- have been fully booked by the Congress for accommodating important delegates. These hotels -- including 22 star hotels and 94 budget hotels -- do not have any accommodation left for non-Congress visitors from January 20 to 24. "Sorry, we don't have any rooms available for these particular days," is the stock answer from the reservation desks in these hotels.
Online bookings are also not accepted. "Sorry, no accommodation," is the message displayed. Hyderabad has 116 star and budget hotels with 6,208 rooms. The 22 star hotels have 2,232 rooms and the 94 budget hotels have 3,976 rooms. The star hotels include two 5-star deluxe, four 5-star, three 4-star and 13 three-star hotels. The Congress is said to have "blocked" 1,200 rooms in 60-odd hotels on behalf of the All India Congress Committee, according to senior party functionaries.
Hotel industry sources, however, claim that the number of hotel bookings is much higher, with no less than 2,500 rooms booked or 'blocked' for the VIPs and plenary delegates.
All Congress Union ministers, 14 chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, their ministerial colleagues, Pradesh Congress Committee presidents and office-bearers of various states and union territories, AICC delegates from across the country, party MPs and MLAs and MLCs (members of Legislative Assembly/Council) of different states are the important functionaries who are participating in the plenary session being held at GMC Balayogi Stadium complex at Gachi Bowli on the city's outskirts.
Apart from hotels, the accommodation committee for the plenary has requisitioned other types of accommodation, including guest houses, private homes, apartments, villas, marriage halls, college and school buildings, dormitories and hostels, etc for the large number of delegates.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister Pranab Mukerjee and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and other VVIPs will be lodged at the IVR complex (erstwhile sports village) adjacent to the Balayogi Stadium. The camp offices of PM and AICC president will also be set up there.
Some of the facilities requisitioned for accommodation include Narayana Concept School and Chaitanya College at Miapur, Happy Homes at Madhapur, Sarovar Enclave at Bowenpally, Pragati Resorts, Meridian Resorts, and Century Club. Some villas in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills have also been booked for important party functionaries.