BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday claimed that the collector of Chhindwara, the home district of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, denied permission to land for a helicopter carrying him. Chouhan, a former chief minister, visited the Election Commission’s (EC) office in Bhopal and submitted a complaint, demanding that the collector be transferred.
The Congress, on the other hand, accused him of threatening the collector. Chouhan’s chopper was not allowed to land in the district on Wednesday as it was past 5 pm.
Later, addressing a campaign rally at Umreth in the district at night, a furious Chouhan said, “We had heard that in (West) Bengal (chief minister) Mamata Banerjee did not allow a helicopter to land, now comes Kamal Nath…listen you stooge (‘pitthu’) collector, our days will come soon, what will happen to you then?”
In January, the BJP had alleged that the West Bengal government did not allow a helicopter carrying party chief Amit Shah to land, a charge the state government denied.
“I have to reach Umreth around 5.30 pm but the collector said the chopper would not be allowed to land after 5 pm. If Kamal Nath would not allow me to land here, I will travel by car,” Chouhan said.
“I was chief minister three times but never stopped anybody from landing his helicopter for public meetings,” the BJP leader said.
Collector Shrinivas Sharma told the media that as per the rules, helicopters are allowed to land only between 10 am to 5 pm.
Speaking to reporters after submitting his complaint to the EC Thursday, Chouhan said, “The collector wanted that my public meeting and roadshow in Chhindwara get cancelled due to the delay. I could not meet the public…my programme became chaotic due to the conspiracy of the district election officer (the collector). What are they afraid of?”
The Congress, in a complaint to the EC, alleged that the former chief minister violated the model code of conduct.
“Chouhan threatened the collector who was doing his election duty. He had issued permission for helicopter landing till 5 pm as per the law,” said Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja.
Chouhan also used “objectionable language” about Nath, he alleged.
“We have submitted a complaint to the EC and demanded that Chouhan be banned from campaigning. He has been using undignified language during the campaign and violating the Model Code of Conduct,” Saluja said.
Lok Sabha elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh in four phases from April 29.