Bikaner-Delhi flight takes off, but credit war grounds inaugural meeting
A flight service between Bikaner and Delhi took off on Tuesday, but a war of words for credit between supporters of chief minister Vasundhara Raje and union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal marred a public meeting organised to mark the inaugurationUpdated: Sep 26, 2017 20:37 IST
A flight service between Bikaner and Delhi took off on Tuesday, but a war of words for credit between supporters of chief minister Vasundhara Raje and union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal marred a public meeting organised to mark the inauguration.
Union minister of state for water resources Arjun Ram Meghwal, also the Bikaner MP, flew back to Delhi without addressing the meeting.
Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who flew in from Delhi with Meghwal, also returned without addressing party workers.
The first flight from Delhi touched down the Nal Civil Airport at 2.30PM and passengers were given a musical welcome. Officials and a large number of locals were present at the airport to receive the flight, run by Alliance Air (a subsidiary of Air India).
At the public meeting, BJP leaders and workers chanted slogans for Raje and didn’t utter Meghwal’s name even once.
Meghwal’s supporters claimed credit for the Delhi-Bikaner air service. But the chief minister’s office issued a press statement on Monday, giving the credit to Raje.
The press release said CM Raje raised the issue in her meetings with the union government and persuaded Ashok Gajpati Raju to inaugurate the ‘Civil Enclave’ on June 29, 2014.
Raje also demanded commencement of air connectivity in September when she met minister of state Jayant Sinha on August 31, the release said.
Defying Meghwal camp’s claim, Devisingh Bhati’s followers and some BJP workers created a ruckus at the airport lobby.
Meghwal denied any conflict or misunderstanding with Raje and the party leadership. “From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a BJP worker, the credit goes to everyone who contributed to the realisation of this objective. The CM personally monitored and pursued the matter at different levels, and granted special relaxations for this project,” Meghwal told HT.
Defending Meghwal, Union civil aviation minister Raju said, “It is the responsibility of both, the state and the union government, to ensure convenience to public. Air connectivity is not only a comfort but also an opportunity for development. Raje took a lot of pain for this.”
Earlier, passengers from Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar had to fly to Delhi via Jaipur.
First Published: Sep 26, 2017 20:37 IST