The chopper war in West Bengal aggravated Sunday as BJP workers staged a protest outside the South Dinajpur district magistrate's house alleging that the Mamata Banerjee administration denied permission to Yogi Adityanath's helicopter.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister and state BJP president Dilip Ghosh were scheduled to address two "Ganatantra Bacaho Rallies" at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district and Raiganj in North Dinajpur district. The rallies were scheduled to held at 1 pm and 3 pm respectively. Yogi Aditynath's chopper was scheduled to land near the venue of the meeting at Balurghat. However, reports claimed that permission to land the chopper was withdrawn at the last moment.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 3, 2019
"We are yet to get permission to land the chopper. So our party workers are staging a protest rally outside the DM's residence demanding permission to land the chopper," Ghosh told PTI. According to ANI, the chief minister will address the rally via teleconference.
West Bengal: Visuals from Balurghat in South Dinajpur district. UP CM Yogi Adityanath will address a public rally though mobile phone, shortly. pic.twitter.com/t6vQNTZy8C — ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2019
The development comes days after BJP president Amit Shah cancelled his rally scheduled at Jhargram. The decision came amid reports that the Jhargram district magistrate had denied the party permission to land Shah's helicopter near the venue, citing security concerns.
However, the BJP did not confirm whether the denial of permission to land a helicopter near the venue was the only reason behind cancelling Shah's rally. Earlier, reports said Shah was heading back to Delhi because of his ill health and was unlikely to attend the Jhargram rally.
Similarly, BJP workers alleged that a conspiracy was afloat to prevent BJP leaders from campaigning when Smriti Irani had to cancel her Birbhum rally on 23 January. Reports suggested that the pilot of Irani's helicopter refused to take flight as the union minister arrived at the helipad after the permissible landing hours deemed safe for choppers. However, BJP leaders claimed the whole incident was a "conspiracy".
Shah had also stoked controversy in the state in December 2018, when West Bengal government denied permission for a proposed BJP 'rath yatra' from Cooch Behar, on grounds that it might cause communal tension. The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday issued a notice to the West Bengal government after hearing the state BJP's plea against a Calcutta High Court order for not allowing its Rath Yatra to progress in the state.
Currently, the BJP has fresh plans to start the rallies from four places in Bengal and covering all 42 of the state's Lok Sabha constituencies.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2019 16:50:14 IST