AAP seeks Gujarat High Court help for rally in Surat

Ahmedabad, Sep 21 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the state government on an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) petition that Surat police was not granting the party permission to hold a rally of AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“This will be the first rally by Kejriwal in the state, to be held at Varachha in Surat on October 16. Considering that we have to prepare for the rally well in advance, we applied for police permission on August 19, but have not received any confirmation so far despite reminders,” AAP’s media convener Harshil Naik said.

The High Court issued notice to the additional secretary (Home), Gujarat, and Surat police commissioner and the district collector and adjourned the hearing to September 27.

“A party delegation even met Governor O.P. Kohli on September 6 and requested him to intervene, but nothing has happened so far,” Naik said.

The petition claimed that Surat police had allowed rallies by BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani and senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela recently. “What could possibly be objection with Kejriwal holding a rally?” Naik said.

Earlier in July, the AAP was forced to curtail Kejriwal’s two-day maiden visit to Gujarat by half.

Kejriwal, who was to visit the state on July 9 and 10, was forced to cancel his Surat programme, with the AAP claiming that the then Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s office had pressurised the venue owners to cancel their booking.

Kejriwal was to meet businessmen from Surat, but instead he visited Somanth temple on July 9.

Kejriwal also visited the state again in July second half, when he visited Mota Samadhiyala in Gir-Somnath district and Rajkot to meet the Dalit youths who were flogged by cow vigilantes at Una.

–IANS

desai/rn/vt

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