February 13, 2021 2:33:59 am
A day after the controversial denial of permission by the state government to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for using government aircraft, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday avoided using the Raj Bhavan helipad nearest to him for his Palghar visit, preferring instead to take off from Mahalaxmi racecourse.
Sources said Thackeray departed from Varsha bungalow before 9 am but instead of heading to the Raj Bhavan helipad, barely a km away, he chose to go to the helipad at the racecourse for take-off and also on his afternoon return from Palghar, where he held meetings, visited health facilities and a locally developed tourist spot.
Raj Bhavan customarily allows the use of the on-premises helipad to the chief minister, deputy chief minister, ministers after receiving a request for it. But, as other helipads are available, which one is chosen by these functionaries usually depends on their proximity at any given time.
On Thursday, the standoff between the ruling MVA and Koshyari appeared to deepen with the government’s denial of permission to him for use of the state plane for his travel to Mussoorie. Koshyari had to take a commercial flight. The CMO blamed Raj Bhavan officials for not checking on Febr-uary 10, a day ahead of the Gover-nor’s travel, if the government had given permission for use of aircraft.
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