Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s chopper was denied permission for landing in West Bengal, where he was scheduled to address a rally in Siliguri on April 14.
This is not the first time that Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government denied permission to its opposition from landing their chopper. Earlier also, BJP President Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were not given the permission to land their choppers for their rallies.
Senior Congress leader and the party’s Darjeeling Lok Sabha candidate Shankar Malakar has accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of ‘resorting to cheap methods’ against her opponents.
In a statement, Malakar said: “Such disdain shown by the local administration towards our party president as well as star campaigner Rahul Gandhi clearly shows that the Trinamool and its Supremo is scared and resorting to such cheap and unconstitutional methods against her opponents.”
“Due permission was sought via the official app, for a program of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, but permission was denied for his helicopter to land on the April 14, even when the permission for the actual venue of the meet was already given on April 7th,” he claimed.
On one hand, Congress is blaming Mamata Banerjee and on the other hand, its state party president Somen Mitra said he was not aware of the rally of the AICC chief.
“I can’t say whether or not a rally is going to be held. Please don’t ask me this question,” Mitra said.
A senior state Congress leader said Mitra was miffed as Malakar who, without informing him, had sought permission for Gandhi’s rally, on his own.
“We are all soldiers of Rahul Gandhi. There is no doubt about it. But some of our candidates without informing the PCC chief is announcing that they are planning to hold rallies of Rahul Gandhi, even without seeking permission from his office. This is not sending out the right message,” a senior state Congress leader said.
Gandhi so far addressed two election rallies in the state – one at Malda and another at Raiganj.
Speaking at a rally in Malda in March, Rahul had accused Mamata of adopting the tactics of the Left Front of the ‘olden days’. He added that Mamata was running a ‘one-man show’ in West Bengal.
“Bengal is today run by one person. She does not consult with anyone. She does what she wants to do. The Congress workers are beaten up here. We are going to form government at the Centre and then you will see what we will do,” Rahul Gandhi had said.
The second phase of polling will be held on April 18. The seven-phased Lok Sabha election will end on May 19. The result will be announced on May 23.