Mamata govt’s turnabout, now says Amit Shah’s chopper can land at Malda

After refusing to allow BJP president, Amit Shah’s helicopter to land citing safety issues, the West Bengal government on Monday gave permission to use the helipad at the ground opposite Hotel Golden Park in Malda on January 22.

Shah, who was recently treated for swine flu, is scheduled to address a public rally with Bharatiya Janata Party workers from north Bengal on Tuesday in Malda.

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On SUnday Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government denied permission for BJP president Amit Shah’s helicopter landing in Malda district. BJP chief was scheduled to reach Kolkata on January 22 and then take a chopper ride to Malda to attend a public rally with BJP workers in the state.

In a letter dated Jan 18 the district administration said “As per report of the executive engineer, PWD (civil), Malda Division, up-gradation of work at Malda Airport is going on in full swing. Huge quantity of fine sand, dust and GSB materials are lying all along the runway and stacked all around the site,” additional district magistrate of Malda said in his letter. Moreover, the temporary helipad is not maintained properly due to this ongoing construction work. In this situation, Malda Airport is not suitable for safe landing of helicopters. Hence, granting of permission is not possible.”

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After the permission was granted, chief minister Mamata Banerjee told ANI “Permission given but there are security issues. Police had said chopper(Amit Shah’s)should land at some other place,I also change my chopper’s landing on police request.We granted permission for meeting as we believe in democracy.They(BJP)are distorting info&misleading ppl.”

The Supreme Court earlier allowed the BJP to hold public rallies and gatherings across West Bengal even as it denied permission for the rath yatras. Furthermore, the SC also stated that if BJP comes up with a modified schedule for the yatra, then it may consider the request for the rath yatras in the state.

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