Lucknow turns blue for BSP workers convention

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Lucknow, Aug 7: Elaborate security arrangements have been made for Saturday's ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national workers convention with the town of nawabs' turning into a blue fortress, the official colour of the party.

This would be the show of strength for BSP after party supremo Mayawati moved closer to Left in the newly emerged political scenario in the country.

Over half a million people from the state and other parts of the country are expected to assemble at the Mata Ram Bai Ambedkar maidan here where Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati will be the main speaker.

Most of the schools and colleges in the state capital are expected to be shut on the day as per the directions of the authorities, while railway travellers have started cancelling their tickets booked in any train to and from Lucknow on convention day.

After the Bangalore and Ahmedabad serial blasts and threats of terrorist attacks in the state, the security officials are in a tizzy leaving no stone unturned to make foolproof security arrangements at the convention venue.

For the first time CCTV cameras would be installed at the convention spot while policemen equipped with binoculars would be stationed at several high rise sites.

The objective of the convention is to inform the party cadre about the mis-doings of the UPA government and how Ms Mayawati, being a Dalit, was being prevented to get the Prime Minister's post.

According to BSP leaders, during the convention the party chief is expected to announce the party's strategy for the Lok Sabha polls and clarify her stand among the party workers about the Left and other groups who supported her name for the Prime Minister's post.

Though Ms Mayawati had directed the party leaders that only the dedicated BSP workers should participate in this convention, more than 5000 party workers from each assembly constituency are likely to attend it, sources maintained.

Senior Superintendent of Police(SSP) Lucknow Akhil Kumar said adequate police would be deployed in and around the convention spot.

Altogether 24 companies of PAC, five quick response teams, 10 anti-riot vehicles, five bomb disposal teams and 200 wireless sets would be deployed at the convention maidan.

Besides this, one DIG, three SSPs, 60 DSPs, 80 inspectors, 700 Sub-Inspectors, 40 women-inspectors, 2000 constables along with 550 traffic officials and constables would be engaged to control the party workers.

While Ms Mayawati will reach the convention site on a helicopter, metal detectors at all the entry points and policemen in mufti would keep a watch on the convention delegates, police said.

Meanwhile, Railways have asked the State Government to ensure enough security measures at all the stations situated around the state capital during the convention. The authorities have even asked the state police to deploy anti-bomb squads, dog squads and additional police at all the railway stations and even at the platforms to ensure the safety of the passengers on the day.

In a BSP rally on September 28, 2002, over 25 people had died after a stampede in Charbagh railway station of the city.

This will be the second big gathering by Ms Mayawati in her fourth regime with the first rally 'Sawdhan Raho, Aage Barho' held on October 9,2007, on the first death anniversary of BSP founder kanshi Ram at the same ground.

On the other hand the entire city has turned blue, the official colour of the BSP. Hundreds of gates are being erected at all the main roads of the city withs big cut-outs of Mayawati, Kanshi Ram, B R Ambedkar and other Dalit leaders being put at several places.

At different spots big elephants, the election symbol of the BSP, has also been erected in the city.

Meanwhile, the BSP leaders and the state officials were busy in preparing the basic facilities of drinking water, sanitation, lighetning besides food and lodging for the workers.

Apprehending heavy rains on the day, the convention managers have opted for waterproof pandals at the site besides using sand to avoid waterlogging and slippery in the ground.

Several schools and colleges near the convention centre have been closed to be used temporary arrangements for stay and food for the BSP workers coming from other states.

Senior state minister Nasiuddin Siddique, Babu Ram Kushawaha, Swami Prasad Maurya and Indrajeet Saroj were working-round-the clock to oversee the arrangements for the convention.


UNI

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