District administration denied permission to Rahul Gandhi to interact with students in Meghalaya

Shillong, Jan 23 (UNI) District authorities in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi denied permission to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to interact with students at a University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) on Tuesday as the party didn’t apply with requisite documents to hold the meeting.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the decision to hold any public meeting is granted by the respective Deputy Commissioners after necessary documents are filed before the DC’s office.

“The respective Deputy Commissioners grants the permission to hold any public meeting in their area of jurisdiction, in this case the NOC (No Objection Certificate) was not received either from the university or the headman and so the permission was denied,” Sangma told UNI.

Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner’s office said, a meeting was held between the Ri-Bhoi district Congress committee and the Deputy Commissioner on January 19 to hold the public meeting by Rahul Gandhi at the private university.

“It was informed that permission is to be taken alongwith necessary NOC from the Vice Chancellor of the university and headman etc for the event,” the Deputy Commissioner’s office said.

However, the Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner received a letter on January 21 noon from the Congress party on his WhatsApp number without the NOC from the Vice Chancellor of the university and the headman of the area.

Deputy Commissioner Arpit Upadhyay said, “Reasonable amount of time has been given to the organizer, to submit the critical documents for which they have not been able to do so. The application is therefore incomplete. In view of the above, the undersigned expresses the inability to issue the permission to conduct such public meeting.”

However, Meghalaya Congress president Vincent H. Pala blamed the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government for denying permission to Gandhi to hold an interaction at USTM.

“The Meghalaya government and the BJP government in Delhi prevented Rahul Gandhi from interacting with the students at USTM after seeing the people’s support to Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra in Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal, Upper Assam and in Meghalaya,” Pala told UNI.

“What permission is needed when the USTM authorities themselves agreed to host Rahul Gandhi in their campus. Moreover, Rahul Gandhi is speaking to the students and not holding any political meeting. What permission are they talking about it,” the former Union Minister said.

Rahul Gandhi was in Meghalaya on January 22 as part of his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’. He arrived at Ri-Bhoi district in the evening and held a public meeting at the NSCA stadium, Nongpoh.

He stayed overnight at Byrnihat and was scheduled to hold another public meeting at the university today, which he failed to do so and returned to Guwahati.

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