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`Helicopter landing was denied on safety aspects'

By Our Staff Reporter

PONDICHERRY, APRIL 20. The Collector and Regional Executive Officer of Yanam, has justified the denial of permission by local authorities today for the landing of a helicopter carrying the BJP national president, Venkiah Naidu, on a school campus, said a press release from the Secretary to Lt Governor of Pondicherry.

Officials were asked to go into the veracity of a complaint that authorities had denied permission to the helicopter, hired for electioneering, on `partisan grounds'. It was later found that this had been done for valid reasons and that there was no `unjustified action' on the part of either the Lt Governor or his office. The helicopter later landed on a private site. Earlier addressing newsmen, the local unit secretary of the CPI (Marxist), T. Murugan, alleged that although permission had been initially denied to the BJP's Yanam unit for the landing of the helicopter, there was pressure from the Lt Governor on officials to sanction permission. The Chief Secretary, R. Padmanabhan, in a release, clarified that the decision was taken considering the safety aspects and denied any pressure from officials at the Raj Nivas.

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