GUWAHATI, March 25 - With electioneering for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls gaining momentum, major political parties in the State have booked helicopters for use by their senior leaders and �star campaigners� who will be crisscrossing the State to seek support of the electorate.
The ruling BJP, principal opposition party Congress as well as the AIUDF have already hired choppers for poll campaign.
�We have booked two choppers. Both are twin-engine. Our senior leaders, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, will use one of them, while the other will be used to ferry our star campaigners and visiting national level leaders for campaigning,� a senior State BJP leader told The Assam Tribune.
He said the party believes that the two helicopters will be sufficient for electioneering.
�As the elections in Assam are spread across three phases this time, we believe that we will be able to manage with the two choppers,� said the BJP leader.
The Congress party has also hired two helicopters for the party�s election campaign in Assam.
�Both are twin-engine choppers. They will be utilised by our senior leaders once filing of nominations is completed and full-fledged campaigning begins,� said a senior Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) office-bearer.
Meanwhile, the AIUDF has booked a single-engine chopper for use during the election campaign.
�It will be for use by our party president Badruddin Ajmal, who is also our main campaigner,� said a leader of the AIUDF.
In contrast, regional player AGP has, however, decided not to use choppers for campaigning.
�We are only contesting from three constituencies and as such we do not need to use helicopters. But, in case we feel that we have to use choppers in the later phase of electioneering, our party will think of hiring one,� said a senior AGP leader.
The leader admitted that it would not be easy to hire choppers at a later stage as demand for them increases exponentially during election period.
Rentals also go up significantly during poll time and can cross Rs 3 lakh per hour for twin-engine helicopters at peak demand time.
None of the parties, however, divulged details regarding the expenditure being borne for hiring the helicopters.