BJP is yet to receive permission from Kolkata Police to deploy a drone to monitor the security arrangements at Amit Shah’s rally in the city tomorrow, the party’s leadership said today. The saffron party, wary after a tent collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Midnapore rally in July, have also urged to the police to allow the use of walkie-talkies by party workers during Saturday’s rally at Mayo Road in the heart of the heart, they said.
As a safety measure the state BJP leadership has appointed a decorator from Jharkhand to prepare the venue for Amit Shah’s Saturday rally. According to state BJP sources unlike the Midnapore rally, the party this time is not building any make shift tent for its supporters who will participate in the rally.
“We are yet to receive any communication or permission from the police allowing the deployment of drone at the rally venue,” BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu said. Three decorators have been appointed to prepare the stage and the venue for the programme, he said adding two of the three are from Kolkata and one from Jharkhand. “They are looking into the aspect of preparing the stage and venue,” Basu said.
No comment has been made by Kolkata Police on deployment of drone so far. A senior state BJP leader said the Jharkhand-based decorator has a long experience in organising structures for mega rallies and functions including government programmes. Well trained party volunteers will also be deployed at the venue to control the crowd, he said.
“A team of leaders and office bearers from Delhi are in the city to look after the arrangements so that everything is in order,” he said. The state unit of the BJP had on Wednesday asked the city police to grant permission to fly a drone for mass surveillance during Shah’s Saturday rally.
The drone is essential as lakhs of people are expected to gather at the rally site. So from the security point of view a drone is a necessity, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said yesterday.
A BJP delegation led by Vijayvargiya and P Murlidhar Rao and other state-level leaders visited the rally venue yesterday and took stock of the preparations. Over 90 people were injured on July 16 after a section of a tent caved in during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at a public rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore district.