Ahead of Kolkata rally, controversy over landing permission for Modi`s chopper

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 21:10

Kolkata: A day ahead of Narendra Modi`s public rally here, BJP on Tuesday alleged permission was denied for landing his helicopter at the Race Course ground in the city under a "conspiracy" by the Centre, but within hours said the Defence Ministry has allowed it.

 "We have got the permission finally from the Ministry of Defence. After media reports, the Centre was forced to give permission as a damage control measure," West Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha told a news agency here.

 Modi`s schedule remained unchanged and after landing at the NSC Bose International Airport he would board a helicopter to the race course ground, which is controlled by the Army authorities.
 

He is scheduled to address a public rally at the Brigade Parade Ground tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, the party had claimed the Army refused permission for the helicopter to land at the race course ground since it could only be used by the President or Prime Minister and not a political person.

 "If they had told us two or three days ago, then we could have made other arrangements. The central government is playing dirty and cheap politics," Sinha had alleged.

 The BJP leader said that it was planned to bring Modi by chopper from the airport to avoid traffic snarls.

 Gujarat Government had written to the army authorities seeking permission for Modi`s helicopter to land at the race course ground.
Sinha said that a three-tier security cordon was in place for Modi`s rally with the first being manned by the NSG and Gujarat security officials, the second by the Kolkata police and the third by 1070 BJP cadres under 52 observers.

 Six watch towers and CCTV cameras would keep a watch on the crowd.

 The Army spokesperson here could not be contacted despite several attempts.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 16:43

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