Dharamshala, Dec 17 (UNI) It was a piquant situation at Nagrota Bhagwan Gandhi maidan here when former union minister and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was not allowed to land where former Himachal Pradesh tourism and transport minister G S Bali was holding a public meeting.
While both the Congress and BJP claimed that they had sought permission from the local authorities for their respective purposes, the BJP accused Mr Bali of pressurising the district authorities for not allowing Ms Swaraj's helicopter to land at Nagrota. After the BJP leader's helicopter hovered over the maidan for a few minutes, the district authorities asked the pilot to proceed to Gaggal airport, where it was asked to fly to Dharamshala for landing.
Ms Swaraj, who drove 25 km from Dharamshala to the meeting venue at Nagrota Bagwan, alleged that the administration, in connivance with Mr Bali, had made all efforts to prevent her from addressing a rally at Nagrota.
Later, addressing a public meeting, she expressed surprise that the party had come to such a pass that it had to field Mr Bali again from this constituency due to shortage of leaders among its rank.
Lavishing praise on party's candidate Mangal Chaudhary from the constituency, she said he would prove his worth like Mangal Pandey, who fought the country's first war of freedom against the Britishers.
Mr Bali, on the other, asserted that he was granted permission by the authorities for holding a public meeting.
Kangra SDM C Palrasu confirmed that he had granted permission to the Congress for holding the public rally, while the BJP had not sought his permission for landing of the helicopter.
However, the BJP contradicted the SDM's version, saying that they had been granted permission on December 15, by the district administration.