Tuesday, Nov 09, 2004
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By Our Staff Correspondent
SHIMLA, NOV. 8. In preparation for Congress president Sonia Gandhi's visit to Shimla this coming Wednesday, the SPG and State police have turned the town into a police cantonment much to the inconvenience of local people and tourists here. Ms. Gandhi will address a public rally on the historic Ridge Maidan after laying the foundation stone of the new Pradesh Congress Committee office on the Cart Road.
The two Congress factions, led by PCC President Vidya Stokes and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh respectively, are leaving no stones unturned to please the AICC President. Both the leaders could be seen inspecting the sites along with SPG officials.
More than 600 policemen have been called from other parts of the State to maintain order during the rally.
The vehicles ferrying Congress supporters to the town would be stopped at least 10 kms away from the venue, said a spokesman of the district administration.
This is the first show of strength by the Congress party after the recent Assembly by-election defeat in Guler. Her visit is taken as an exercise in building bridges between the two warring factions in the party. The party apparently lost the by-election due to this factional feud.
The people are expecting the Congress President to announce some special financial package to the fund starved State.
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