Just days ahead of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Assembly elections, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday, 28 January, claimed that he was not being allowed to fly from Delhi to UP's Muzaffarnagar.
He said in a tweet in Hindi, "My helicopter is still stopped in Delhi without giving any reason and is not being allowed to go to Muzaffarnagar. While a top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has just flown from here. This is a desperate conspiracy of the losing BJP. People are understanding everything… [sic]"
Within an hour of posting the tweet, Yadav further tweeted, "The abuse of power is a sign of the losing people…This day will also be recorded in the history of the samajwadi struggle! [sic]"
He added, "We are going to take a historic flight of victory…"
Later, on Friday evening, a Delhi airport official was quoted as saying by ANI, "Akhilesh Yadav’s chopper was not granted permission by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to fly initially because of high air traffic. After the clearance was given, the chopper had less fuel. After refuelling, the chopper flew to the destined place."
Meanwhile, according to ANI, Yadav said, "I was in the chopper for over two hours...I am hoping that the Election Commission (EC) looks into it...If someone has to go for a rally, how will they work if their chopper is stopped for so long...seems like BJP will do anything before polls..."
"People told me that BJP leaders had taken off before me... I was told about air traffic...but no air traffic for BJP leaders who had taken off? They didn't have to wait while I had to wait for over 2 hours... no matter what BJP does, the people of UP will remove them."Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The first phase of voting in the 2022 state Assembly elections is set to begin on 10 February. It will end on 7 March, with the seventh and last phase of the polling. The counting of votes will be done on 10 March.
The SP chief will be contesting in the upcoming elections from the Karhal seat in Mainpuri district.