Malda: Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has denied permission to the state BJP to land the helicopter of party president Amit Shah at Malda airstrip here citing ongoing construction work on the runway. The chopper has however been allowed to land at another venue.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Permission has been given but there were security issues. Police had said that the chopper should land at some other place. I also change my chopper’s landing on police request. We have granted permission for the meeting as we believe in democracy. They (BJP) are distorting information and misleading people.”
Additional District Magistrate of Malda in a letter dated January 18 had responded to BJP request to land Shah’s chopper on January 20 stating that airstrip was unsuitable for landing since construction was underway.
“Up-gradation work at Malda airport is going on. Sand and material are lying around. Therefore the airport is not suitable for safe landing of the helicopter and so the permission is not possible. Moreover, the temporary helipad is not maintained properly at present due to the ongoing construction work,” the letter said.
BJP Malda district secretary Gopal Saha sought a clarification from the state government on how it continued to use the helipad every Wednesday for landing its choppers.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told ANI, “Our national president Amit Shah, after having recovered, was to address a rally in Malda tomorrow. But permission has been refused for his helicopter to land citing renovation work is underway and some construction material is there on the runway. On the same helipad, Mamata ji’s helicopter landed a few days ago. Some journalists went there, I have pictures. It is neat and clean. It is an abuse of government power that helicopter of Amit Shah had been denied permission.”
BJP national president Amit Shah is scheduled to conduct a rally in the state on Tuesday.