Rahul denies dangerous landing in darkness


Lucknow: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday denied that he persuaded his helicopter pilot to land in darkness in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur town and chided the state party chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi for making the suggestion.

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In an obvious bid to shower praise on Gandhi, Joshi said: “Rahulji is so deeply committed to keeping his schedules that he persuaded the pilot of his helicopter to land in Sitapur in total darkness and zero visibility conditions, without paying any heed to the risk he was taking for his own life.”

The remark embarrassed the Congress celebrity and Rahul Gandhi.

“I am a pilot myself and am well aware of the dangers of landing in poor visibility. Therefore, I am absolutely the last person to even suggest a thing like that,” Gandhi told a press conference here.

According to him, “there was enough visibility, otherwise the helicopter could not have landed there at all”.

When his attention was drawn to the fact that the disclosure was made by Joshi, the Gandhi scion shot back: “Well, she is neither a pilot nor a weather expert. You people are just trying to make a story out of it for nothing.”

Disclosing how the media hype over the issue had put the pilot’s job in peril, he said: “The pilot took me aside to express his anguish over how the media had put his him into unnecessary trouble.”

To buttress his point, he added: “Not once have I broken security rules or procedures. You can confirm that from the Special Protection Group (SPG) director.”