Twice in the space of around one-and-a-half years, a chief minister has died in a helicopter crash.
While the exact reasons why Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu’s chopper crashed are not yet known, bad weather is being widely cited as the suspect. If that were so, it would establish a direct parallel with the death of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a similar crash in September 2009. In both cases, the helicopters took off in adverse conditions.
The obvious question is why, and it is unlikely to be answered—the irrationality of the act defies logical explanation. The costs of such decisions go beyond the loss of life—chief ministers are not quickly replaceable, and the loss of one can spark a chain of unhappy events, as YSR’s death clearly did. It is high time the country’s political class understood this.