Govt refutes Congress allegations over Nehru anniversary event

The government on Wednesday rejected as "completely baseless and misleading" the allegations made by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma that the party was denied permission for an event at Vigyan Bhavan on Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary (November 14) though it was "not in use".

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 20:55 PM IST

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday rejected as "completely baseless and misleading" the allegations made by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma that the party was denied permission for an event at Vigyan Bhavan on Jawaharlal Nehru's birth anniversary (November 14) though it was "not in use".

According to Urban Development Ministry officials, "the allegation is completely baseless and misleading". There was no communication from the Congress party for booking of Vigyan Bhavan for November 14, they claimed.

Booking for Vigyan Bhavan is done through the Directorate of Estates under the Ministry.

The Congress had accused the Modi government of "putting obstacles at every step" in the organisation of an international conference on Nehru's birth anniversary.

Sharma, who was the Secretary General of the meet which ended yesterday, had said, "This government did not want the Conference to take place. We were denied the venue Vigyan Bhavan on Nov 14 (birth anniversary of Nehru) when it was not being used (by anybody)."

According to the ministry officials, allotment of Vigyan Bhavan for the Congress party's conference was done by the Directorate of Estates for November 17-18 based on a letter written by AICC Treasurer Motilal Vora on August 1.

Subsequently, Vora wrote on October 29 requesting for booking on November 16 of VIP Lounge and foyer, which was also considered and acceded to promptly, though normally the VIP lounge is allotted only when the President or Prime Minister is in attendance, they said.

The officials claimed that there was no communication from the Congress party for booking of Vigyan Bhavan for November 14 and wondered how the Congress party can accuse the government of "putting obstacles at every step" when the venue was allotted to them as per their request.