Shiv Sena asks Ravindra Gaikwad to ‘watch his behaviour’ over slipper assault
The defiant MP has refused to apologise and his brazen statements justifying his actions has caused major embarrassment to his party, which is in the ruling alliance in the state.india Updated: Mar 24, 2017 18:15 IST
The Shiv Sena on Friday asked its law-maker Ravindra Gaikwad to “watch his behaviour” after he was seen in a video clip assaulting an Air India staffer with slippers, prompting at least five airlines to ban him from their flights.
Though the Sena said there “will be no leniency”, the party’s reaction to an incident that has sparked widespread condemnation indicated that Gaikwad might be let off with a warning.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is yet to comment over the incident.
Gaikwad, an MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, refused to deboard a Pune-Delhi Air India flight on Thursday morning and hit a 60-year-old staffer with slippers 25 times after being allegedly being denied a business class seat.
The defiant MP has refused to apologise and his brazen statements justifying his actions has caused major embarrassment to his party, which is in the ruling alliance in the state.
“The party is serious about the incident. We have asked him for an explanation and have also asked the airlines to investigate thoroughly. The party’s disciplinary committee will look into it and there will be no leniency in this case,” Sena leader Anil Desai said.
The MP met Desai following the incident.
“He (Gaikwad) should come to Mumbai either today evening or tomorrow morning to meet Uddhav Thackeray,” said Desai, a Rajya Sabha MP.
In the last 24-hours, Gaikwad’s brazen statements justifying his actions has caused a major embarrassment for his party.
Desai said the party does not endorse such behaviour.
“Restrain should be exercised by everybody, whether it’s a politician or a common man. Politicians especially should exercise more control,” he added.
The incident has drawn calls for his suspension from the Parliament but Lok Sabha
speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that “suo moto action” cannot be taken against him.
She, however, added that “no MP is allowed to misbehave with anyone”.
“I did not see any complaint in the case till now. Let me see and study it first, then I can say anything over it,” Mahajan added.
Five Indian airlines including Air India banned Gaikwad and demanded exemplary action against the politician.
Air India also cancelled Gaikwad’s return ticket from Delhi to Pune, PTI quoted sources as saying. The action was jointly taken by Air India and Indigo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir.
“The airlines demand strict action be taken against the Member of Parliament by law enforcement agencies. We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living,” a statement by the Federation of Indian Airlines, which represents Indigo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir, and Air India read.
“Air India and FIA member airlines have decided to ban this Member of Parliament from flying on all our flights with immediate effect. We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety,” the statement added.
First Published: Mar 24, 2017 15:12 IST