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Gaikwad - Air India spat: Sena threatens ruckus if no action is taken against the airline

india Updated: Apr 05, 2017 20:56 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
HIndustan Times, New Delhi
Gaikwad,shiv sena,air india

Ravindra Gaikwad, Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad, Maharashtra.(HT photo)

Shiv Sena MPs on Wednesday threatened to disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings if no action was taken against Air India for banning MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying on its planes.

The Osmanabad MP had last month abused and assaulted a 60-year-old duty manager of the national carrier with slippers for not being able to fly business class despite having boarded an all-economy Pune-New Delhi flight.

In the days that followed, Gaikwad tried to trick the Air India ticketing staff repeatedly by booking tickets under misspelt names. The state carrier first cancelled a Mumbai-Delhi ticket booked by him, followed by another Hyderabad-Delhi ticket . He again tried in vain to book a Pune-Delhi ticket for April 3.

Private carrier Indigo and Spice jet had also rejected a flight booking made by him in a display of solidarity with Air India.

Shiv Sena MPs raised the matter in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday saying they have submitted a privilege motion against the airlines for banning the MP. “What happened to our notice,” Sena MP Anandrao Adsul asked Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. “Its under my consideration,” she replied.

“We submitted this notice long back,”Adsul retorted. “We are a member of the ruling alliance so we are not creating a ruckus but if we are not heard and the matter is not resolved, we will have to create a hungama here,” he said. Sena MPs had met the Speaker last week demanding that the ban be lifted.

Last week, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju said in the Lok Sabha that an MP was just another passenger and violence of any kind on a flight can turn into a disaster. He said airlines have been empowered to deny boarding to any passenger whose demeanour was not proper.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 15:08 IST