Chopper carrying PM returns due to bad weather (Lead)

July 28th, 2012 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Guwahati, July 28 (IANS) The three choppers that took off for Kokrajhar from an airport near Guwahati Saturday morning, carrying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi among other VIPS, returned due to bad weather, officials said.

Assam Governor J.B. Patnaik and Assam Pradesh Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita were also part of the entourage accompanying the prime minister, who returned to the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport near Guwahati.

A week of violence in Bodo areas has claimed 45 lives and left an estimated 2.5 lakh people homeless, according to officials.

The authorities at the airport here said that the helicopters returned as they could not land at the helipad in Gossaigaon due to bad weather.

The prime minister was scheduled to travel to Kokrajhar by road from the helipad at Gossaigaon.

However, a state Congress official said that the helicopters returned to the Guwahati airport as one of them developed technical snag mid-air. The chopper is being replaced and the prime minister will take off for Kokrajhar after some time, he said.

The prime minister’s programme has now been delayed by one and a half hours due to the chopper problem, the officials said.

The prime minister was accompanied with Congress leader Digvijay Singh. They arrived at the airport near Guwahati around 10.26 a.m.

Manmohan Singh was to visit some relief camps near Kokrajhar town, review the law and order situation and hold a press conference there before returning to New Delhi Saturday evening.

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