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Home > News > Report

Advani a no-show at Moradabad

Ganesh Nadar in Moradabad | April 15, 2007 20:54 IST

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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani was to address a public rally at 3 pm in Moradabad city, Uttar Pradesh on April 15. The venue mentioned in the advertisement in the local daily was the Ambedkar park in the Civil Lines area.

The 3rd phase of the 7-phase UP elections is on now. The Ambedkar Park has a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar with the Constitution in his hand. It also has a statue of Buddha meditating.

The BJP had put up a pandal so the public could sit in the shade. There were no posters and no banners. A party worker said they could not put up banners or posters as this was a public park and the Election Commission would object.

The only indication of it being a BJP meeting were the party flags which had been put up all around the park.

There were plenty of cops around. A bomb detection squad was checking the ground and the stage. The entrance gate had two metal detectors through which the public had to walk in. The organisers were playing patriotic songs. There were armed cops on the terraces of nearby building watching the venue.

While the papers had mentioned that Advani would arrive at 3 pm the cops said that he would arrive at 4 pm. Among the 1,500 strong crowd there were less than 50 women. Local leaders kept the crowd occupied.

They called the Mulayam Singh government a government of criminals. Some of them attacked the Congress. Only one speaker mentioned Mayawati, the BSP supremo when he referred to the Taj Corridor scam.

At 5.10 pm a van came with cops. They picked up the two metal detectors at the entrance and loaded them into the van. The cops said that they did not know if Advani would come and they were only following orders.

Local journalists left after learning that Advani was not coming even as local BJP leaders insisted that Advaniji would arrive shortly.