Akhilesh Yadav wants what Mayawati has: The right to drive up to aircraft
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav may soon be allowed to take his car, with an armed escort, right up to aircraft at all airports in the country. Having received a request from Uttar Pradesh in this regard, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has referred the matter to the Union Home Ministry for threat assessment.
The state government has sought all the facilities currently available to former CM and BSP supremo Mayawati, revealed an official of the Civil Aviation Ministry. If the Home Ministry clears it, we have no problem, he said.
If allowed, Akhilesh would become only the second CM to be granted this privilege. Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa is allowed vehicular access on security grounds.
Mayawati is allowed to take her car right up to aircraft along with an armed escort. On January 23, 2013, The Indian Express had reported how Mayawati's entitlements were finalised on a day of bargaining that saw three amendments to the Civil Aviation Ministry's order before she was satisfied.
The first order allowed Mayawati to drive up to aircraft with a personal security officer. The second order added the phrase "for one year", upsetting the BSP. In the third directive, the phrase "for one year" was replaced with "until further orders".
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader L K Advani are also permitted access to tarmac with an armed escort. The list further includes SPG protectees, the president, the prime minister, former presidents, former PMs, the Dalai Lama, foreign heads of state visiting India, former civil aviation ministers currently holding another Cabinet portfolio etc.
State governors and CMs can also drive up to the aircraft but only at airports within their respective states.
Congress leader Dr Karan Singh has been allowed access to tarmac but on health grounds. Others like Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and DMK leader M Karunanidhi are ferried to the aircraft on health/security grounds.