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Bano leaves amid chopper row

June 29: In a sudden move, Noor Bano headed for Delhi today leaving a fresh row over the chopper issue.

Bano, the Congress leader in charge of Jharkhand who is on an eight-day tour to the state, cut short a party programme at Dumka after she got an emergency call from the headquarters.

“I received a call from Delhi asking me to rush since there is a Congress working committee meeting tomorrow. I do not know the agenda but I will immediately return here after the meeting,” she said before taking the road to Calcutta for an evening flight to Delhi.

The party meeting slated for tomorrow at Sahebganj would be cancelled. However, the meetings at Pakur, Godda and Deoghar would take place as scheduled from July 1.

However, a senior Congress working committee member told The Telegraph from Delhi that he is unaware of any meeting for tomorrow. “There is no plan to call a CWC meeting now. The panel has already discussed the forthcoming presidential election. Why would a CWC meeting be called when there is no agenda'” he said, suggesting that Bano could attend any other party meeting.

Interestingly, when the Opposition is trying to be more vocal over the chopper issue, the Congress MPs are in the dark.

Sarayu Roy, the BJP MLA from Jamshedpur (west), demanded high-level inquiry into the incident, which, according to him, is a case of forgery, misuse of government machinery, fraud and violation of civil aviation rules. The legislator has also demanded lodging of criminal case against the Congress leaders who misused the name of Speaker by forgery.

Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu, the state Congress president who accompanied Bano to Delhi today, said Speaker Alamgir Alam was also there aboard when Bano had gone to Jamshedpur to attend a party meet from Ranchi on Tuesday.

However, most of the Congress MPs from Jharkhand said they were “totally unaware” of any incident of misuse of government helicopter by party leaders.

Union minister of state for food processing and Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay said he had “absolutely no idea” about the incident. “I am totally unaware about any such incident. Will you please let me know about it'” asked Sahay.

Dhanbad MP Chandrashekhar Dubey said: “I am in Calcutta. Let me find out the matter with my sources.” Bagun Sumbrui, the MP from Chaibasa, too said he was not aware of any such incident. Furqan Ansari, however, said he was aware of the incident but asked what the big fuss is all about: “When a minister can go to in-laws’ place or go to join a wedding ceremony, why can’t an MLA board a chopper.”

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