Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi was injured after he lost his balance and hit his head against a vertical handrail inside a Jetlite bus because the driver braked hard suddenly to avoid hitting an aircraft that appeared in front at Delhi airport on Sunday.
“The driver was on the mobile and braked hard when he saw an Air Deccan aircraft appear in front of him. A major accident would have taken place if the bus had hit the aircraft,” said former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also standing along with Modi.
The bus was carrying them and two more BJP leaders to an Ahmedabad-bound aircraft.
“The bus jerked to a sudden halt. That’s why we fell,” Prasad told HT from Gujarat, disputing the version of airport officials that they lost balance because they were standing.
“Both of us fell. But I managed to get up. But Modi fell on his back and hit the vertical handrail with his head,” said Prasad. “We were the last to be taken to the aircraft. Until then, we were waiting in the VVIP room.”
“Many of us have to often stand in the airport bus to allow women and children to sit,” he said. “The bus was moving at a good speed and braked suddenly because we all saw the aircraft moving in front of us.”
Prasad said they also upbraided the driver for driving with one hand on his mobile. “We called the airport manager and other officials to complain of sheer gross negligence. What if the bus had collided with the aircraft?”
There were only four passengers in the bus, the last to be taken to the aircraft from the terminal building. The others had already boarded the aircraft by then.
Prasad said Modi felt very uncomfortable after his fall and was in great pain after they boarded the aircraft. “I found Modi breathless. That’s when I told him he should not travel to Ahmedabad. He disembarked and left for a hospital in Vasant Kunj. Doctors have advised him complete rest for two days.”
The Jetlite aircraft took off for Ahmedabad with its other passengers once Modi departed. Prasad and Modi were going to Gujarat, along with two other BJP leaders – Satyanarain Jatia and Kalraj Mishra, both Members of Parliament – to campaign for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.