NCP writes to EC over denial of airspace to stars

NCP writes to EC over denial of airspace to stars

The NCP has written to the Election Commission claiming helicopters of two of its star campaigners were denied permission to fly in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Maharashtra on October 17.

The letter, dated October 18, asked the EC to take strict action against officials who "deliberately" cancelled tours of its campaigners.

The NCP said helicopters carrying MP Amol Kolhe and another leader Amol Mitkari were denied flying permission on October 17 in view of the prime minister's movement.

Due to this, Kolhe could not hold public meetings in Pune, while Mitkari's helicopter was grounded at Sindkheda constituency in Dhule, the party said.

The PM addressed rallies for BJP candidates in Parli (Beed), Satara and Pune on October 17.

"We are not aware if the ruling party and the prime minister of the country have a different set of rules for air operations...During his tour, our star campaigners were denied airspace on two occasions," the NCP said in its letter to the EC secretary.

Not allowing NCP leaders to campaign indicated "bias", and cancellation of rallies also resulted in "huge losses" to the party in terms of "time, money and resources", it said.

It said the biggest loss was due to non-campaigning in the crucial Assembly segments in Pune district.

The letter said EC should furnish the law under which NCP leaders were denied flying permission due to the PM's movement.

"If there is no such law, then we request you to take strict action against persons and respective authorities who deliberately cancelled tours of NCP's star campaigners," it demanded.