Lucknow turning into 'blue fortress' for BSP convention

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Lucknow, Aug 3 (UNI) Lucknow has started turning into a ' Blue Fortress' for Saturday's Bahujan Samaj Party National convention when over half a million people from the state and other parts of the country would hear the speech of Ms Mayawati at the Mata Rambai Ambedkar Maidan.

After the Bangalore and Ahmedabad serial blasts and the threats by terrorist organisations of a big attack in Uttar Pradesh, security officials were in a tizzy and were leaving no stone unturned to make fool-proof security arrangements in the convention, to be attended by lakhs of people.

Chief Minister Mayawati had called the convention to inform her party cadres about the misdeeds of the UPA government and how, she being a Dalit, had been prevented from getting the PM's post.

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

Though the CM had directed the party leaders that only the dedicated BSP workers should participate in this convention, still more than 5000 party workers from each assembly constituency were likely to attend it, sources added.

Security officials engaged in the drill before the convention said elaborate arrangements would be made to ensure that the function goes incident-free.

'' We are aware about the problems in such big gatherings and would take care of every possible situation'', the official said.

While Ms Mayawati will reach the venue on a helicopter, metal detectors at all entry points and plain-dressed policemen would keep the track of the delegates there, the police said.

Railway authorities have already pressed the panic button and have asked the state government to ensure enough security measures at all the stations, situated around the state capital during the convention.

The Railway officials have also asked the state police to deploy anti-bomb squads, dog-squads and additional police at all the railway stations and the platforms to ensure the safety of the passengers.

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

This will be the second big gathering by Ms Mayawati in her fourth regime with the first rally being 'Savdhan 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 is taking colour blue, the official colour of the BSP. Hundreds of gates are being erected at all the main roads of the city while big cut-outs of Mayawati, Kanshi Ram, B R Ambedkar and other Dalit leaders are also being put at several places in the city, as well as at the convention ground.

The officials are also busy making other arrangments, including drinking water and sanitation.


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