Tejasvi didn't open IndiGo emergency gate; a passenger blessed him: Annamalai

Jan 19, 2023 10:51 PM IST

BJP's K Annamalai who was with Tejasvi Surya on the IndiGo flight which was delayed after Tejasvi ‘mistakenly' opened the emergency exit of the plane said no such thing happened. Tejasvi noticed a gap and informed the crew like a responsible person, Annamalai said.

Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai who was a co-passenger of Tejasvi Surya on the IndiGo flight where Tejasvi ‘mistakenly’ opened the emergency exit on Thursday said no such thing happened. After maintaining his silence on the issue, Annamalai on Thursday said Tejasvi did not open the emergency exit. "There was no handrest on his sear. So he placed his hand on the door and then he noticed a gap in the door and showed it to me," Annamalai said in Chakkamangaluru.

South Bengaluru MP Tesjasvi Surya is at the centre of a massive controversy after he 'mistakenly' opened the emergency exit of an IndiGo flight on January 10. (ANI)
South Bengaluru MP Tesjasvi Surya is at the centre of a massive controversy after he 'mistakenly' opened the emergency exit of an IndiGo flight on January 10. (ANI)

The statement comes a day after Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia commented on the IndiGo incident and said that the passenger (Tejasvi Surya) mistakenly opened the emergency exit and then apologised for the mistake. All checks were done and there was no threat to security, the minister added.

"Tejasvi is an educated and responsible person. It was not his fault that the flight was delayed," Annamalai said adding that it was not possible to open the emergency exit.

In a statement to ANI, Annamalai said it was a small flight and he was reading a book when the incident took place. "People were clicking photos with him. He was continuously getting up and down and adjusting the AC vent. In the process, his hand might have accidentally touched the emergency door. He told me, 'See it looks like the emergency door is open'," Annamalai said.

"I saw and I won't say the door was open but it appeared that the position of the door was slightly disturbed from its original position," Annamalai said.

"When everybody is watching you, can you open the screw and open the door? Yes, the door was displaced. But what Congress is saying is that Tejasvi Surya came with a screw and then opened the emergency exit and showed it to everyone. It is very stupid," Annamalai said.

After the crew was informed, the pilot called the engineer who came and pushed the door, but the door did not come to its position and he opened the door and then locked the door. "It was a 5-minute process but a procedure was to be followed regarding the cabin pressure and so we all were asked to deboard the plane. There was a DNK person, a Congress social media guy on the same plane," Annamalai said.

They wanted Tejasvi to write an incident report form, Annamalai informed adding that it was then Tejasvi apologised to all for the delay. "I distinctly remember an elderly passenger giving her blessing and telling Tejasvi, 'Beta, it's your karma and our karma that something mischievous didn't happen and you found out'," Annamalai said.

On January 17, IndiGo issued a statement that took place on January 10 and said a passenger accidentally opened the emergency door when the flight was on the ground and the boarding process was on. The passenger immediately apologised for the mistake and the flight was delayed, the airline said without naming Tejasvi Surya. Congress claimed the passenger was Tejasvi Surya which was not denied by the South Bengaluru MP.

As Congress upped the ante over this issue and asked how the emergency exit can be opened by mistake, Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "I think it's important to look at the facts. The door did open by mistake...and he also said sorry for it himself."

Annamalai on Thursday said Tejasvi apologised for the delay as after the gap was pointed out all passengers were deboarded and the plane was checked. He didn't apologise for opening the emergency exit as he didn't open the emergency exit, Annamalai claimed.

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