Barabanki: Baghel claims Rahul Gandhi could not attend rally as permission not given to land chopper, DM dismisses charge

19 May,2024 10:40 AM IST |  Barabanki  |  mid-day online correspondent

Kumar said that taking cognisance of the letter by Punia, the district administration had granted permission for Baghel`s public meeting on May 18

Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI

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Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday claimed that authorities did not permit Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's helicopter to land in Barabanki where he had to attend a rally, but the district administration denied the allegation as "baseless", reported news agency PTI.

Addressing the Nyay Sankalp rally organised in Haidergarh here, Baghel alleged that Rahul Gandhi could not come to Barabanki as the district administration did not issue permission for the landing of his helicopter till late at night as the BJP was "scared" of Gandhi.

Countering the Congress leader's charge, District Magistrate Satyendra Kumar, in a statement issued, said that Congress Lok Sabha candidate Tanuj Punia had applied for permission for a helipad at Rahul Gandhi's rally venue on May 15, for which the district administration had granted permission on May 16, reported PTI.

He said that Punia wrote a letter to the District Election Officer on May 17 stating that the pre-scheduled programme of the former Congress president was cancelled due to some urgent work, hence Baghel will attend that programme as the chief guest and address a public meeting, reported PTI.

Kumar said that taking cognisance of the letter by Punia, the district administration had granted permission for Baghel's public meeting on May 18.

"In such a situation, the allegation levelled by Congress leaders on the district administration during the public meeting is completely false and baseless," he said.

The District Magistrate also made public copies of the correspondence between Punia and the district administration in front of the media, reported PTI.

The BJP has fielded Rajrani Rawat against Tanuj Punia in Barabanki, where voting will take place on May 20 in the fifth phase, reported PTI.

At the rally was organised in support of Punia, Baghel said, "The public knows everything and the BJP will not be able to stop Rahul Gandhi with these tactics. The INDIA alliance government is going to be formed.'

Senior Samajwadi Party leader and former minister Arvind Kumar Singh said that on June 4, the INDIA alliance "will bid farewell to the BJP government with great fanfare".

(With inputs from PTI)

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