Narendra Modi sees plot in chopper delay, demands Election Commission probe

Rewa (MP), April 1: With flight delays stalking his election campaign in UP and MP, Narendra Modi today attacked the Centre alleging a “conspiracy” and demanded that Election Commission probe the matter.

Daring the Congress-led UPA, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said that if it was so scared of him, it should declare that it would not let him fly during this election.

Speaking at a rally here which began hours behind schedule, Modi said that the Election Commission is the “umpire” in the ongoing electoral contest so it should ensure that all political parties are treated the same.

“I request the Election Commission, as you are the umpire you should see who were the people who conspired to delay my helicopter by three hours. All political parties should have a level playing field,” he said.

Apparently holding the UPA government responsible for the delays, an angry Modi said that his “helicopter may or may not take-off but the government at the centre will definitely be sent packing.”

The BJP leader said that he was upset as the delays caused inconvenience to the people who came to hear him.

A few hours earlier at a rally in Bareilly in UP, Modi had levelled the same charge

“This delay was not because of me. At the Delhi airport I sat from 9.30 AM onwards but our helicopter was not given permission to fly,” Modi said in Bareilly.

BJP too urged the Election Commission to launch a probe into alleged delay in giving flying permission to Modi’s chopper and said that it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that star campaigners of all parties are not inconvenienced in this way.

The party said that it will be in bad taste if the delay had been deliberately caused to upset Modi’s programme. ”It will be in bad taste if the government does such petty things. Government should act pro-actively. The EC should also inquire and give direction to aviation authorities and others concerned so that star campaigners of parties are not inconvenienced in this way,” BJP treasurer Piyush Goyal told reporters at the party headquarters here.

BJP leaders said that as per schedule, Modi had a hectic day with five rallies planned across MP and UP today. The BJP leader was scheduled to address rallies in Bareilly in UP and Rewa, Beohari, Satna and Jabalpur with the last of the public meeting scheduled to begin at 6 PM.