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In Gaikwad rerun, domestic airlines bar ‘unruly’ TDP MP Diwakar Reddy

The TDP MP allegedly created a ruckus at the Visakhapatnam airport after he was denied a boarding pass for reporting late for an IndiGo flight to Hyderabad

india Updated: Jun 16, 2017 13:01 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
JC Diwakar Reddy,Airline ban,IndiGo on
In a show of unity, all major domestic airlines have barred Reddy from taking their flights -- similar to action taken by the carriers after the incident involving Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad earlier this year.(Gurminder Singh /Hindustan Times)

The government ordered an inquiry on Friday into alleged misbehaviour by Telugu Desam Party MP JC Diwakar Reddy at Vishakhapatnam airport as all domestic airlines banned the politician following uproar over his conduct.

Eyewitnesses said Reddy, the MP from Anantapur, shouted at Indigo staff and pushed employees before throwing a printer because he was denied boarding for arriving late.

Reddy’s alleged misconduct came two months after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad sparked widespread criticism for assaulting an elderly Air India employee. Gaikwad apologized before Parliament after all airlines came together to ground him and pushed the government to draft a national no-fly list.

Full-service carrier Vistara and budget airlines -- GoAir and AirAsia India -- on Friday barred Reddy from their flights. Air India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways followed IndiGo on Thursday, which imposed the flying ban on him.

“After careful consideration of the various issues and ramifications of the actions of Reddy, GoAir has also taken a decision of not accepting any further bookings for the said passenger,” the airline said in a statement.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu also asked Reddy to apologise and sources said the TDP chief spoke to Raju. Reddy, however, refused to talk to react on the ban imposed by the airlines. “There is nothing I can talk. You have already ruined me. I don’t want to talk to media anymore. Please leave me alone,” Reddy told the media at his residence.

On Thursday, Reddy was scheduled to fly IndiGo’s flight 6E-608, which departs from Visakhapatnam at 8.10 am, to Hyderabad. But he reached just 28 minutes before the scheduled departure, according to the airline. As per norms laid out by the aviation regulator, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure.

Reddy -- who had allegedly vandalised the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada last year after he missed his flight -- entered the cabin of the Indigo Airlines counter and shouted at the staff, when they refused to give him boarding pass to take the flight to Hyderabad, as he came to the airport after the closure of the boarding time and the flight was ready to take off. He banged the boarding pass printer and even pushed an airlines employee out of the cabin.

The video footage obtained from the closed circuit cameras installed in the airport showed Reddy arguing agitatedly with the airlines staff who were trying to convince him about the closure of boarding hours. He was seen lifting the printer and banging it on the desk, besides pushing one of the airlines staff out of the cabin.

Reddy, along with the other TDP officials, had been to Visakhapatnam on Wednesday to attend the marriage of Srikakulam MP K Rammohan Naidu and were returning to Hyderabad.

In November 2015, YSR Congress party MP from Rajampet P V Mithun Reddy allegedly assaulted an Air India manager at the Tirupati airport, after the latter refused to issue boarding passes to his relatives for a flight to Delhi, since they were late. He was later arrested by the police.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jun 16, 2017 10:30 IST