BHUBANESWAR: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had to address public meetings at Berhampur and Phulbani from Biju Patnaik International Airport here over telephone after his helicopter was denied permission to fly by the air traffic control (ATC) due to low visibility.
Adityanath was scheduled to address two election meetings, one at Phulbani, the district headquarters of Kandhamal, for BJP Lok Sabha candidate Kharbela Swain and the other at Ambapua near Berhampur for Bhrugu Baxipatra. Though his meeting at Phulbani was scheduled at 1 pm, the UP Chief Minister landed here four hours late at around 4.45 pm.
Sources said the helicopter, which was kept ready here to take Adityanath to Kandhamal, did not get clearance from the ATC due to low visibility in the evening. However, sources in Biju Patnaik International Airport said, “As sunset approached, the pilots refused to fly at night.”
Swain, the BJP candidate for Phulbani lok Sabha seat, said the UP Chief Minister could not reach on time as he addressed three election rallies in Assam. Besides, the air traffic route given to his flight further delayed his landing in BPIA by nearly one hour.
During his visit to the State in February, Adityanath had addressed two meetings of party workers at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district and Nachuni in Khurda district. He had criticised the Naveen Patnaik Government for backwardness of Odisha and the State Government’s refusal to implement welfare programmes of the Centre.