The recent high-voltage election rallies and road shows in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat Varanasi saw about 30 chartered flights bringing in over 115 VVIPs to the temple town in a span of 10 days. Officials said multiple sorties by chartered jets and special helicopters were reported from the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur near Varanasi.
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A senior official involved in airport security operations said the airport got busy just days before the road shows by Modi, Samajwadi Party leader and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav along with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
The airport saw 30 special flights coming in or departing from the city. Over 115 VVIPs including central and state ministers came or exited via the air route in about 10 days’ time, they said.
They said witnessing the heavy movement by the VVIPs, the CISF had to deploy an additional liasion officer at the airport even as its local terminal commanders and airport staff were put on additional duty to ensure smooth passage of the dignitaries.
The airport also saw a row of choppers and planes being parked there, they said. When asked about the heavy duty task rendered by the security personnel, CISF Director General O P Singh said all the duties were handled by the force very “professionally”.
“We got kudos from everyone,” he said, without elaborating further. Political road shows and rallies were held over the weekend in Varanasi, days before the last and seventh phase of polls in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
BSP supremo Mayawati also held a rally in Rohaniya in the city on March 4.