Channi’s chopper not allowed to take off due to PM’s visit

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In the run-up to the February 20 Assembly elections in Punjab, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s chopper was not allowed to take off from Chandigarh on Monday owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s movement in the state.

Channi was to join his party leader Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Hoshiarpur.

Modi was scheduled to campaign in Jalandhar, his first visit to the state after a major breach in his security in Punjab last month.

Officials said Channi’s chopper was not permitted to take off from Chandigarh owing to imposition of a ‘no-fly zone’.

Reacting to the development, Channi said, “I am a Chief Minister, not a terrorist.”

At the public rally in Jalandhar, Modi questioned the security arrangements of the Channi-led state government.

“I wanted to pay obeisance at Devi Talab Mandir (in Jalandhar) but the police administration asked me to go back by helicopter. This is the state of affairs of the Punjab government,” Modi said.

A day earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah took a swipe at Channi at an election rally in Ludhiana, saying how could he protect Punjab when he couldn’t provide security to the Prime Minister of the country.

Punjab will go to the polls in a single phase on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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