EC to verify Lalu’s claim on unsafe chopper landing

April 15th, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Railways Minister Lalu Prasad, who was arrested and released Tuesday for unsafe helicopter landing in a school premises, told the poll panel that his pilot did not get the geographical coordinates in time.
“Lalu Prasad has filed in his reply that the information about the (geographical) coordinates (of landing spot) was not received on time so the pilot could not contact them. This was why the helicopter landed in a school premises,” Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan told reporters here.

Lalu Prasad was arrested following an Election Commission notice after his helicopter landed at a public rally venue instead of a helipad in Garwah district of Jharkhand April 7.

The notice was issued as the poll panel said the unsafe landing was a violation of the model code of conduct.

Balakrishnan said the Election Commission has asked the district election officer to inquire into the matter.

The district administration had lodged an FIR against the minister and pilot Jagjit Singh. The pilot was also arrested and released.

Balakrishnan said Communications and IT Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was asked to explain by Wednesday why he had distributed letters highlighting the achievements of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, has asked for one more day to give his reply.

“He has sought time. He said he is away. He has been asked to give his reply by Thursday,” Balakrishan said.

Scindia, who is a Congress nominee from Guna constituency in Madhya Pradesh, was found distributing letters in Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. Though the letters were dated before the polls were announced, the Election Commission found that the letters were distributed after the announcement of the poll dates.

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