Kolkata: BJP President Amit Shah’s helipad controversy hasn’t died down yet. The BJP claimed on Monday that when they were denied permission by the airport administration, the party sought to land Shah’s helicopter at a private hotel but that was also refused by hotel management, a claim that the Chief Minister sought to make light of. The government said the saffron party had been given the necessary permission.
The BJP then reportedly reached out to the BSF for help. The district administration of Malda had said the permission to land a helicopter on the ground opposite the Hotel Golden Park, where the Chief Minister’s aircraft also lands, would not be possible as the airport was being renovated and construction material was lying on the runway. However, that permission was granted later.
“The temporary helipad is not maintained properly due to this ongoing construction work. The Malda airport is not suitable for safe landing of helicopters. Hence, granting of permission (for Amit Shah’s chopper) is not possible,” it said. The local unit of the BJP claimed that it was already being used by the state government.
Also, the party claimed that they have been denied electricity for the rally. BJP leader Ajoy Ganguly said, “After we got permission for the rally venue, we sought permission for electricity supply for the rally but the electricity department refused. As there is no facility for electricity there, we are looking at other alternatives.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sought to downplay the incident and said, “Permission was given but there are security issues. Police had said the chopper (Amit Shah’s) should land at some other place. I also change my chopper’s landing on police request. We granted permission for the meeting as we believe in democracy. They(BJP) are distorting information and misleading people.”
Shah is scheduled to address a public rally with BJP workers from north Bengal on Tuesday in Malda.