New Delhi: On the last day of campaigning in Gujarat, Congress President Elect Rahul Gandhi addressed a press conference while the PM took a Seaplane ride from Sabarmati river. Both had been denied road shows by Gujarat police earlier.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took off this morning in a seaplane from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad and landed 35 minutes later at the Dharoi Dam, about 180 km away. He then was driven to the famous Ambaji temple of Mehsana and returned to Ahmedabad the same day.
There was a huge crowd to witness the Seaplane ride of the PM, both when he took off and landed back. So people of Ahmedabad did have a view of their ‘Modiji’ from the bridge and river side.
There was some controversy over PM Modi riding the single-engine seaplane though as the security rule-book says the Prime Minister can only fly in twin or multi-engine aircrafts only. Modi took off from near the Sardar Bridge connecting Ahmedabad’s old city with the newer parts in the west. A special jetty was constructed to facilitate the boarding.
“How is it that the security guidelines were relaxed for this flight? No Z+ protectee is allowed to fly in a single engine aircraft, much less the PM of our country,” tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, also adding, “Single engine plane. Foreign pilots. Is there any security guideline that will not be thrown out today?”
Rahul Gandhi calls it a distraction
Calling the move a “distraction”, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi said, ” this is a distraction from key issues. The real question is what did you do for Gujarat in 22 years?”
Seaplane ride was announced on Twitter
When PM Modi announced his sea-plane plan on Twitter on Monday evening, he had also said, “With air, roads & rail connectivity, our Government is making efforts for harnessing waterways. All this is for 125 crore Indians,” adding, “The transformation across Gujarat is for everyone to see. Sadly, Congress’ notion of development is making a quick buck and that is why they are unable to see any change for the better.”
Plan B implemented
PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi, who has been elected Congress president, had both planned roadshows in Ahmedabad today as a finale to a hectic, bitter campaign for the Gujarat elections. But both were denied permission by the Gujarat police, who said they feared law and order problems.
Rahul Gandhi’s roadshow was planned through the old city while Prime Minister Modi’s route was through the newer parts of Ahmedabad, across the river. But the police said there was a possibility of trouble because the routes “were in mutual conflict”.
Rahul Gandhi swapped his roadshow plan with a press conference in Ahmedabad, where he attacked PM Modi over jobs, new national tax GST and other issues.