SHILLONG, Feb 21 (PTI): Meghalaya chief minister and National People’s Party (NPP) supremo Conrad K Sangma asserted that neither he nor his party had any role in denying permission for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally at the PA Sangma Sports Complex in Tura.
The Sports department has informed the West Garo Hills district authorities that permission cannot be given for the PM’s rally there as construction debris may pose safety concerns.
The saffron party, which last month snapped ties with ally NPP ahead of the February 27 assembly election, alleged that the ruling party was trying to stall a “wave of the BJP” in the state.
In a statement issued here, the chief minister said on Monday the accusation made by the BJP was false as permissions for rallies are given by the Election Commission and the district administration is now a part of it.
“All permissions come from the side of the Election Commission of India. So, there is no say from NPP or my side. Dragging our name into it is completely wrong. I was even denied permission for many of my rallies,” Sangma said.
He said such things happen during elections but the BJP has made this into a big issue.
“The stadium has two parts. The first part consists of the football stadium, which was inaugurated. The other part, which has an indoor stadium and a swimming pool, is not ready and we have made it clear,” he said.
Sangma also said the possibility of denying permission may be due to the huge crowd the PM would draw.
“It is a fact that when PM Modi holds a programme, the crowd will be huge. So, I feel that the district administration may have felt that since it is a natural turf, and if many people come, it will damage the natural turf and also there is no parking facility there,” he said.
The BJP had wondered how a stadium can be declared “incomplete and unavailable” for the PM’s rally just two months after inauguration.
The stadium was inaugurated on December 16 last year.