UP Govt Unable to Give Security, Sonia Cancels on Kumbh
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The proposed visit of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to the ongoing Maha Kumbh here has been cancelled due to "want of cooperation" of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh in making security arrangements, the party's state unit alleged today.

"We felt upset upon receiving information last night that the state government has expressed its inability to provide the necessary security arrangements for Sonia ji's proposed visit," UPCC spokesman Kishore Varshney told PTI.

"We never expected such treatment from the SP government in the state, which had received generous assistance from the Centre for organising the congregation," Varshney said.

He said, "The party president had been planning her visit for the past one week. She kept waiting for the state government's response but the latter apparently had other thoughts".

The UPCC spokesman alleged that, "The state government has a guilty conscience as it has failed to properly utilise the funds given for Kumbh and has been squandering the money on its own publicity".

"This is not the first time when a non-Congress government in UP has tried to hinder Gandhi's visit to Kumbh,"he claimed.

He said the Congress president had visited the 2001 Maha Kumbh and taken a holy dip "despite the then BJP government having tried its level best to prevent her from doing so".

"However, this time, in view of the heightened security concerns prevailing in the country, she has chosen to cancel her visit for want of cooperation from the local administration," Varshney said.

He, however, added "the final word is not yet out on the possibility of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's proposed visit, though given the attitude of the state government, we are not very hopeful".

In Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Arun Kumar said they had no information about the visit of Sonia Gandhi or Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the Maha Kumbh.

"As per our knowledge there is no programme of Gandhi or Modi to visit Allahabad. We have not received any programme about the visit of these leaders," he told PTI.

On the allegation of a Congress leader that Gandhi's visit was cancelled due to lack of security arrangements, the ADGP said "how security can be provided when there is no information about her visit."
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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