The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has complained to the Election Commission that government officials were “deliberately” providing wrong landing locations for helicopters used by the party, including one instance where a leader’s chopper was given a route that led to a notorious Maoist village.
Seeking action against the erring officials, the BJP state in-charge, Trivendra Singh Rawat, alleged on Thursday that wrong landing locations were being provided at the behest of the state government, endangering the lives of the party leaders.
On Wednesday, Rawat took off on a helicopter which was given a landing location that happened to be 40 km away from the desired landing spot. Minutes before touching down, local leaders accompanying Rawat identified the landing location as Kasamar village, a known Maoist stronghold.
The landing, approved by the SDO-cum returning officer of Chhatarpur, was then cancelled.
“The wrong showing of (the) place goes to show mala fide intention of the concerned authority,” said the BJP’s letter to the election panel. A copy of the letter dated November 6 is with HT.
Rawat was accompanied by BJP national vice president, Raghubar Das and Chatra MP Sunil Singh.
“The ECI needs to take strict legal actions against such officials who are deliberately providing wrong landing locations to our helicopters under political influence or are incompetent in providing correct landing information,” he said.
Reacting to the allegations, JMM national general secretary, Supriyo Bhattahcray, said: “If the official has given wrong information, he is liable for punishment, but the BJP doesn’t have the right to blame the ruling government for it.”
In 2005, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu’s his chopper was set on fire by Maoists after it crash landed in a rebel stronghold in Gaya, Bihar. He was on his way to Jharkhand for election campaigning.