Punjab CM claims his chopper was denied permission to fly as Narendra Modi was visiting the state
Charanjit Singh Channi said he could not attend an election rally with Rahul Gandhi as a ‘no-fly’ zone was declared in view of the prime minister’s visit.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday alleged that his helicopter was denied permission to take off in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state’s Jalandhar state, NDTV reported.
“Charanjit Channi is a chief minister, he’s not a terrorist that you are stopping him from flying to Hoshiarpur,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
On Monday, Channi scheduled to fly from Chandigarh to Hoshiarpur to attend an election rally with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, reported PTI.
According to the chief minister, when he boarded his chopper at 11 am, he was told that the permission to fly had been cancelled.
“Four hours got wasted,” PTI quoted him as saying. “I could not attend Rahul Gandhi’s rally because the clearance was not given,” he said.
Channi said that a no-fly zone was declared because of Modi’s visit to the state. The chief minister added he had been granted permission to fly to Hoshiarpur, but the clearance was later withdrawn.
However, unidentified officials in the Punjab government’s aviation department told The Indian Express that a “no-fly” zone had not been declared.
Later on Monday, Channi travelled to Sujanpur town of Pathankot district and alleged that he was again refused permission to fly from there to Jalandhar, The Times of India reported. He then travelled by road, according to the newspaper.
Congress leader Sunil Jakhar called the incident “shameful”, according to NDTV. “If the Election Commission doesn’t take cognisance of this, I will understand that these polls are a farce.”
Modi claims he could not pray at Jalandhar temple due to lack of arrangement
Meanwhile, at his election rally in Jalandhar, Modi claimed that he could not pray at the local Devi Talab Mandir as authorities were unable make the necessary arrangements, PTI reported.
“They said you leave by helicopter, such is the situation of the government here,” Modi said.
His comment came a month after he had to abort his visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur on January 5, which led to a massive controversy. His convoy was stuck on a flyover for over 15 minutes as protestors had blocked the road to Hussainiwala village in the district. The Centre had termed it a “major security lapse”.