A new video has emerged purportedly showing Air India staffers pleading with Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad to de-board a plane at Delhi airport, minutes after he allegedly assaulted an elderly airline security officer.
“You’re our role model no… you’re our representative, you’re our democratic leader, we have elected you,” a female airline staffer is heard as saying purportedly to the MP, who represents Maharashtra’s Osmanabad in the Lower House. The video was put out by news agency ANI on Thursday night.
Gaikwad kicked up a storm of criticism on Thursday when he allegedly hit a 60-year-old Air India staffer 25 times with slippers in a burst of fury over being denied business class seats. He has been condemned by several parliamentarians and his party has demanded an explanation. Air India has initiated proceedings and is mulling putting him on a no-fly list.
The video begins with scenes of a scuffle near the door of the plane and officials dragging people inside. “Parliament is foremost…no one can cross it. Why do you want to confront this “chote aadmi”? Please sit down sir, it might become a murder case. Please don’t do anything silly for a stupid man,” the female staffer is heard as saying in the video.
The 56-year-old Gaikwad is no stranger to controversy and has charges of voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty, culpable homicide not amounting to murder and criminal intimidation against him.
The MP, who is a professor by education, has accepted that he had hit the employee, saying that the latter had “misbehaved” with him. He is purportedly heard as saying, “Why did he come inside,” repeatedly in the ANI video.
Gaikwad was peeved allegedly because Air India changed his seat in the Pune-Delhi flight AI-852 from the business to economy class.