SEVERAL VIPS including the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana and other leaders could not reach the airport to see off Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday.
Aware that once the PM’s cavalcade is on the route, they would not be able to overtake it, Mayor Arun Sood, Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command KJ Singh, both Punjab and Haryana chief secretaries started early for the airport to see him off.
Gagandeep Singh Brar, Special Principal Secretary to Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, said, “Due to logistics, both the Chief Ministers saw the PM off at the yoga venue itself. Due to security restrictions, it is not possible to reach the airport before the PM as he leaves first and there is no movement for sometime after the departure of PM.”
All those who were on the stage except the Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki who accompanied the PM, could not reach the airport. Member Parliament Kirron Kher too said that they saw the PM off at the venue and that when his cavalcade is on the route, they cannot overtake it.
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Among 35 VIPs who had to bid adieu to the PM, hardly 15 them reached the airport. Officers of UT Administration were seen rushing to the tarmac of the airport.
City BJP unit chief Sanjay Tandon rushed and reached the airport but rued that he could not shake hands with the PM as the latter had boarded the flight by then. BJP national vice presidents Prabhat Jha and Avinash Rai Khanna also missed the occasion.
A list of 35 persons as per protocol was given by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Chandigarh Administration who were to be present when the Prime Minister left for Delhi.
According to the pecking order in the ‘see off’, the Governor was the first person followed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Punjab Minister Madan Mohan Mittal was ranked seventh while Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria and Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij were on eighth and ninth numbers. They were followed by other bureaucrats, BJP leaders of the region.