Congress activists detained in Uttar Pradesh: party

Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) Thousands of Congress activists, including legislators, were detained Thursday in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district while preparing to protest against the state government for inaugurating a bridge built there on the river Ganga, the party said.

‘More than 10,000 Congress activists, including seven or eight legislators, were detained while proceeding towards the newly-constructed bridge to oppose its inauguration by (Uttar Pradesh) PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui,’ Akhilesh Pratap Singh, Congress spokesperson in the state, said in Rae Bareli, 80 km from Lucknow.

He alleged that the police action followed Chief Minister Mayawati’s orders.

Siddiqui, who Wednesday inaugurated the bridge at a hurriedly convened function in Lucknow by unveiling a plaque in an auditorium here, Thursday afternoon arrived in Rae Bareli to ‘re-inaugurate’ the bridge.

The Congress alleged that the inauguration of the bridge by the minister was designed to prevent Rae Bareli MP Sonia Gandhi from declaring it open.

According to Congress officials, the bridge, over Ganga in Dalmau in Rae Bareli, has been constructed at a cost of Rs.30 crore sanctioned under the Central Road Fund. It was to be inaugurated by Gandhi this month.

Earlier, five Congress legislators from Rae Bareli Wednesday called on Governor B.L. Joshi, seeking his intervention to restrain the Mayawati government from proceeding with the inauguration.

But before Joshi could react, Siddiqui inaugurated the same from Lucknow, with the makeshift foundation stone made of vinyl.

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