Sonia Gandhi to visit Mohali for India-Pak clash

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 09:26 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: The list of dignitaries planning to flock the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali for the high-intensity India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final continues to grow with sources claiming on Monday that Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be amongst those present in the stadium on the historic day.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have already confirmed their presence for the big clash. The mother of all battles, as it is being called, will be played at Mohali no March 30.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani accepted the invitation to visit Mohali to watch the high-voltage World Cup semi-final.

The decision was taken following a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani, which began at midnight on Saturday and lasted for about two hours.

The Punjab Cricket Association stadium has turned into fortress with nearly 2200 cops being put on duty for the high-profile event that will be attended by Prime Ministers from both nations.

Anti-aircraft guns will be deployed and NSG commandos will join a large number of security personnel to provide security at the stadium, which will be primarily taken over by the elite Special Protection Group.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed along the routes leading to the stadium, which is about 12 km from Chandigarh`s Hotel Taj, where the two teams are staying.

Security personnel also positioned themselves on the rooftops in the adjoining buildings of the stadium to maintain strict vigil.

In addition to the two premiers, a large number of top politicians from India and business tycoons including Mukesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya and other top dignitories including those from the ICC, BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board and other member countries are expected to be present here on March 30.

India and Pakistan will play the semi-finals under floodlights here. A heavy posse of undercover securitymen have also fanned out and will remain on high alert during the match.

The City is also witnessing a surge of fans who have booked most of the hotel rooms, with virtually all star and budget accommodations being lapped up within a radius of 50 km from Mohali and Chandigarh.