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Sonia is welcome here: MP CM

October 15, 2008 15:09 IST

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Madhya Pradesh [Images] Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday termed as "baseless" the charges by the Congress that the state government had denied permission to Sonia Gandhi [Images] to kick off her party's campaign from Bhopal.

"The Congress allegation was baseless. She (Sonia) is welcome to Bhopal. She is the leader of a national party," Chouhan said in Delhi [Images] on Tuesday night.

"Not only Sonia, leaders of all political parties are free to come and do electioneering in any part of MP. The Bharatiya Janata Party believes in strong democratic values," he added.

Pradesh Congress president Suresh Pachouri on Tuesday claimed in Bhopal that the state government had denied permission to hold a meeting at Lal Parade ground on October 19, stating it was a high risk area.

The charges came close on the heels of the Uttar Pradesh [Images] government imposing prohibitory orders against holding a rally by the Congress chief in Rae Bareli.

About the article in the latest edition of Congress Sandesh that children were failing prey to malnutrition under the BJP rule in MP, he claimed that during the tenure of Congress 5.5 per cent kids suffered from malnutrition, which has come
down to 0.78 per cent under the BJP rule.

He outrightly denied the Congress charge that MP has slipped to 16th place economy-wise from 13th -- in five years.

"I don't know from where they get such data," he said, claiming that MP was humming with development activities during the BJP rule.

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