Tamil Nadu

Row over BJP functionaries entering airport terminal to welcome suspended DMK MLA

The entry of some BJP functionaries into the arrival hall of the domestic terminal at the Chennai airport on Wednesday afternoon to receive suspended DMK MLA Ku Ka Selvam has triggered a row. The functionaries, including BJP State general secretary K.T. Raghavan, had gone to receive the Thousand Lights MLA, who had met BJP president J.P. Nadda in New Delhi a day earlier.

“Ku Ka Selvam, the renegade DMK MLA, was welcomed by BJP leaders at the tarmac gate inside the airport. This is a highly restricted area. Who permitted BJP leaders into the secure area when public entry is banned inside the airport due to COVID? The BCAS [Bureau of Civil Aviation Security] owes [us an] explanation,” M.H. Jawahirullah, president, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, tweeted on Thursday.

Mr. Raghavan, however, said he had obtained a pass to go inside the terminal.

An airport source said personal distancing norms, in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, were not followed inside the arrival hall. Even outside, nearly 100 persons had crowded to receive Mr. Selvam.

An Airports Authority of India (AAI) source said, “We had issued four passes. But now, we have examined the CCTV footage. Apart from those with passes, there were security and police personnel too.”

An official of BCAS, however, said, “Especially during a crisis like a pandemic, AAI should not have issued passes for visitors to the terminal.”

Sharing a copy of the pass, Mr. Raghavan, however, said only two of them went inside to receive Mr. Selvam. “There is no mandate that says you cannot go and receive anyone at the airport. There were a couple of officials from intelligence, a couple of airport officials as well. Passengers too were coming out from the aircraft at the time we were receiving Mr. Selvam,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 10:10:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/row-over-bjp-functionaries-entering-airport-terminal-to-welcome-suspended-dmk-mla/article32289439.ece

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