Minor fire, defaced hoardings at venue
On the eve of the Congress Chintan Shivir, a minor fire broke out at its venue, Birla Auditorium in Jaipur, on Wednesday.
Sources in the organising committee blamed the BJP for putting the match to a tent near the wall of the auditorium as well as for blackening hoardings of the Shivir – featuring pictures of Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot – across Jaipur. Rajasthan Police said Chief Minister Gehlot was overseeing arrangements when a motorcyclist threw a match at the tent and sped away. The fire was immediately put out.
Jaipur police chief B L Soni said they were investigating the incidents, which prompted the state to step up security for the event. More than 5,000 policemen and teams of Special Protection Group have been deployed across Jaipur.
Meanwhile, delegates to the meeting began arriving on Thursday. Manmohan Singh is expected to arrive at 11.30 am and Sonia Gandhi at around 1.30pm Friday. Some 1,600 delegates are expected in Jaipur for the three-day event that includes a two-day brainstorming session and a meeting of the All India Congress Committee on January 20.
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