Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday addressed two public meetings in West Bengal through teleconferencing after the local authorities denied his helicopter permission to land there.
He began his first address around 2.15 pm, over an hour after it was scheduled in Balurghat in South Dinajpur district. The second address, in Raigunj in North Dinajpur, began around 3.30 pm.
Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party protested outside the district magistrate’s house before the rally in Balurghat, where Adityanath’s helicopter was to land, PTI reported.
Adityanath accused the state government of misusing power and said the administration was functioning “as the workers of Trinamool Congress”, the ruling party of West Bengal.
Earlier, Adityanath’s office had told ANI that the West Bengal government denied permission for the Raigunj rally “without any prior notice”. Mrityunjay Kumar, his information advisor, claimed this happened because of Adityanath’s “popularity”.
“[West Bengal Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee did not even permit his helicopter to land,” Kumar said.
West Bengal BJP leader Mukul Roy said the move indicated the state government’s “undemocratic attitude”, ANI reported. “Ultimately, the BJP will get permission at Balurghat, there is a regular airport at Balurghat [in South Dinajpur district],” he said before the rally. “What is the harm of giving permission to land a helicopter on that regular helipad? So, it is absolutely an undemocratic attitude of the government of West Bengal.”
Another BJP leader, Babul Supriyo, said the “desperation and fear” of the state government were “clearly visible in this decision”.
Last month, the Malda district administration had refused Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah permission to land at the district airport, saying work was being carried out to upgrade the facility. However, an India Today report had claimed that the site was clean.
After that, the BJP had accused the state government of resorting to falsehood and abuse of power. However, Banerjee had denied that Shah’s helicopter had been refused permission to land at the airport.