Update at 11:30 AM: Malda district administration has granted permission to BJP to land helicopter on January 22 at the ground opposite to Hotel Golden Park in Malda where the helicopter of CM lands too.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government in West Bengal, on Sunday, denied permission for BJP president Amit Shah's helicopter landing in Malda district, only a day ahead of his rally in the state. As per plan, the BJP chief was scheduled to reach Kolkata on January and then take a chopper ride to Malda to attend a public rally with BJP workers in the state.
Replying to the BJP's request for Amit Shah's helicopter landing, the Malda district of Trinamool Congress administration claimed that it will not be possible to grant permission to land VVIP helicopters for the said date,
"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, 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," the letter further read.
Read the letter here:
However, retaliating to the denial of permission, BJP's General Secretary from Malda district has questioned the West Bengal government over the use of the Malda airport.
Alleging that the airport is being used by West Bengal government for landing their helicopter every Wednesday, the General Secretary has demanded clarifications over the denial.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had 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.
Earlier while speaking at the Republic Summit 2018, BJp president Amit Shah had hit out at Mamata Banerjee and her party for their decision to deny BJP the permission to hold Rath Ratra in the state.
"Can you believe, in a democracy like India, a party like BJP isn't being allowed to carry out a Rath Yatra? Permission isn't being granted to hold rallies. PM wanted to go, I wanted to go, Home Minister wanted to go, but they have stopped us. We went to court against it. You can imagine, I rally across the country, but to rally in West Bengal, I have to go to court. Prime Minister is forced to go to court to hold a rally," he had said.