CG Election 2023: In the run-up to the high-stakes Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly elections, scheduled to take place soon, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) are making extensive use of airport helicopters and charter planes for their campaigns. According to party sources, in the past month alone, national leaders have addressed election rallies in Chhattisgarh through over 100 air journeys.
It is reported that airports in Bilaspur and Jagdalpur are gearing up for the elections, and preparations have already begun. Within the next month, prominent leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National President JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, as well as INC National President Mallikarjun Kharge, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi have scheduled major rallies in Chhattisgarh.
Both the Congress and BJP have formed committees to oversee and manage air services. So far, both parties have booked at least five helicopters for their tours across Chhattisgarh. The number of aircraft may increase as the elections draw closer. These helicopters, belonging to private companies, will be used for campaign tours alongside star campaigners.
As per the sources, the aircraft will be extensively utilized for campaign rallies in various districts of Chhattisgarh, including the state capital, until November. Information about daily flights’ takeoff and landing will need to be reported to the Election Commission after the Model Code of Conduct is in effect. Mana Airport has already started offering 24-hour night landing facilities for aircraft.
Chhattisgarh now has more parking capacity at Mana Airport. The BJP has entrusted the Aviation Committee, while the Congress has given the responsibility of aircraft’s sound coordination and protocol to the Protocol Committee. Both major parties’ workers are stationed at the airport from morning to night.
After the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, the state government’s helicopters will not be available for use. Therefore, the Congress has reserved two helicopters, while two other companies have been placed on alert mode. Subhash Rao, the coordinator of the BJP Aviation Committee, mentioned that they have reserved one helicopter and will send demand to the Delhi headquarters as needed.
Ajay Sahu, the coordinator of the Congress Protocol Committee, stated that the number of helicopters may be increased as per requirements for maximum campaign and outreach. After the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, regular flight information will be sent to the Election Office.