Lucknow turns 'blue' for BSP's rally

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Lucknow, Oct 5: Lucknow has turned ' blue' -- the official colour of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP)-- for the party's massive rally to be held here on October 9, the first death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram.

BSP national president and Chief Minister Mayawati has already named this rally 'Saawdhan Raho, Aage Barho'( Be cautious, surge ahead) targetting the coming Lok Sabha elections and other assembly polls in different states.

During her speech, the Chief Minister is also expected to announce some major developmental projects for the state.

The rally, the party's first after storming to power in the March-April assembly polls by forming new political equations between Dalits and Brahmins, is expected to draw upon the huge support base of the party, both from the state and other parts of the country.

An attendence of about 15 lakh is expected in the rally, where Ms Mayawati will outline the future course of action of the BSP to attain power at the Centre and other states.

For the first time, a political rally will be held at a new venue Rama Bai Ambedkar rally ground on the outskirt of the state capital as the orginal Ambedkar Maidan is being developed as Kanshi Ram Memorial.

More than 10,000 small and big gates have been erected across the city and big cutouts of Ms Mayawati, Kanshi Ram, Dr B R Ambedkar, Shahuji Maharaj and other Dalit icons have been installed on the main roads of the state capital. Paper strips and BSP flags with the official party symbol of Elephant were seen in every nook and corner of the city.

A senior BSP leader said here the rally would be a ''historicial one'' with a record attendence from the state and from other parts of the country.

''This time the party has made foolproof arrangements for the stay of the party supporters and hope that the function will be incident free,'' the leader added.

The BSP held its last political rally on March 1 last, just before the assembly polls when about 10 lakh people made their presence felt in the political gathering.

About 5000 to 10000 supporters from each of the state's 403 assembly constituencies are expected attend the rally while about 2 lakh BSP supporters from outside the state are likely to participate in the rally.

About 10,000 buses of the state roadways tranport corporation would be used for ferrying the supporters along with some special trains booked by the party for the occassion. Medical facilities have been made for the BSP workers while the senior leaders of the party were making arrangements for the food and lodging of the workers.

Lucknow district authorities have closed all the schools and colleges near the venue on the day while the traffic would be diverted.

A large contingent of police personnel including PAC have been sought from other parts of the state to control the crowd and to maintain law and order situation. Around 55 companies of PAC are likely to be deputed for crowd control. The PAC personnel will be housed in government schhols for three days. Rs 2.5 crore will be spent on the 'langars' (kitchens) for the PAC personnel.

Meanwhile, the Railways was also making arrangments for the travellers.

After this week's stampede at Mugalsaria railway station in which 15 women were crushed to death, the railway department is taking all steps to control the rally crowd particularly at the Charbagh railway station.

On September 28, 2002, more than 30 BSP supporters were killed in a stampede at the Charbagh station when they were returning after attending a party rally here.


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