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Congress plenary: Hyderabad under siege
Onkar Singh in Hyderabad | January 20, 2006 20:16 IST
Last Updated: January 21, 2006 15:21 IST
Hyderabad, the cyber city and the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, is under seige. Over 17,000 police officers and men have been deployed at vantage points armed with automatic weapons and metal detectors to ward of any possible threat from naxalites. The state intelligence has got inputs from various sources about the possible threat from the naxalites.
The city has been virtually turned into a fortress considering the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairman and the president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi would be attending the session along with other senior government ministers and party dignitaries.
Sonia's family has a high threat preception. Advance party of the Special Protection Group has been camping in Hyderabad for almost a week to oversee the security arrangements of Sonia and members of her family.
As we drove from Hotel Golkunda to Rajiv Nagar located in G M C Balyogi stadium in Hyderabad, one encountered a road block over 1 km, and vehicles that did not carry security cleared passes were turned back or asked to take a diversion to reach their destination.
Posters and banners of Sonia, Dr Singh, Chief Minister Rajshekhar Reddy and Rahul Gandhi are visible throughout the city.
Rahul Gandhi is expected to be the centre of attention and he is likely to to be inducted as the party general secretary by voice vote unless the crown prince himself opts for a friendly election.
"The whole thing is going to be a repeat of the induction of Rajiv Gandhi into the Congress party in the early 1980s," a senior Congress leader said.
"We have been preparing for last two months. Virtually every single minister of the state government and thousands of volunteers from all parts of the state have been toiling hard to make the three-day Indian National Congress party plenary session a grand success," Mohammad Ali Shabbir, state minister for information and public relations told rediff.com on Friday.
According to him, over 12,000 delegates from all over the country will attend the session, which begins on January 21 and ends of January 23, 2006.
Virtually every hotel in the city has been booked by the party at least one month in advance to cater to the needs of accommodation. Special arrangements have been made for cooking.
Over 150 computers have been installed for the benefit of the newsmen to help them put out their stories in the shortest possible time.