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Lucknow gears up for BSP workers' meet

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | August 08, 2008 00:26 IST

Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for the Bahujan Samaj Party workers' national convention, which will be held on August 9 in Lucknow.

Over 5,000 policemen will be deployed across the 42 - acre Rama Bai Ambedkar Maidan, where Chief Minister Mayawati [Images] held her first mammoth rally, after assuming power for the fourth time last year.

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The authorities have decided to tighten security measures after serial blasts recently rocked Ahmedabad [Images] and Bengaluru [Images].

"We have to ensure that the venue is safe," said a senior police official who is monitoring the security arrangements.

"Five officers of the Superintendent of Police rank, 24 Assistant SPs, 60 deputy SPs , 80 inspectors, 740 sub-inspectors and 2,000 constables will be deployed across the sprawling venue and on the various entry points to the Rama Bai Ambedkar ground," said the official.

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BSP workers from 20 states are expected to attend the worker's meet.

While most of the estimated 2,50,000 � odd crowd is expected to arrive from different parts of Uttar Pradesh [Images], at least 40,000 delegates will come from other states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, Orissa and Punjab.

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Though BSP chief Mayawati has termed the gathering a worker's meet, the administrative machinery as well as local partymen believe that it would turn out to be another pre-poll rally.

Keeping in mind the stampede after a BSP rally in September 2002, which claimed 19 lives, officials have taken special precautionary measures to avoid such incidents this time.

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Much to the chagrin of the organisers, a heavy downpour on Thursday had caused heavy water-logging at the venue.  Special teams of the Lucknow Development Authority rushed to the site to pump out the water.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed and praying to the rain gods for dry weather in the next two days," quipped a LDA official.

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