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Yet to Receive Apology, Air India Clips Shiv Sena MP Gaikwad's Wings Again

During the Zero Hour, Gaikwad presented his side of the story in front of the House and accused the Air India employee of misbehaving with him.


Updated:April 7, 2017, 1:40 PM IST
Ravindra Gaikwad
File photo of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who allegedly assaulted a senior Air India official.

New Delhi: Air India has cancelled Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad’s Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi tickets for April 17 and 24, respectively.

This was the seventh attempt on the part of the Sena MP to book a flight on Air India, which barred him from flying after he assaulted the airline's staffer last month.

Gaikwad, who is accused of beating up an Air India employee, on Thursday attended the Lok Sabha proceedings for the first time after the incident last month.

During the Zero Hour, Gaikwad presented his side of the story in front of the House and accused the Air India employee of misbehaving with him.

"I am a victim of injustice. What is my mistake? The employee was shouting at me. When I told that I am an MP, the Air India employee said 'so what you are not Narendra Modi'. They misbehaved with me. I can show you clippings as proof," he said.

Gaikwad dismissed the claims made by Air India that he created ruckus inside the aircraft.

He said after the Pune-Delhi flight landed in the national capital, he asked for the complaint register. "Then an officer came, then two or three more officers came... When I said that I was a politician, one of them said 'But you are not Narendra Modi. Are you?'" said the Shiv Sena MP, giving his version of the incident.

He further asked for justification on the FIR that was filed against him in an attempt to murder and seeks Home Minister Rajnath Singh's intervention into the matter.

"I have been charged under IPC 308, which is for 'attempt to murder'. Was I holding any weapon? Is this justice. I don't know why did Delhi police do this. I request the Home Minister Rajnath Singh to look into this matter," he said.

Reacting to the news that Gaikwad had last week attempted to book air tickets using different honorifics and spellings of his name, he said: "It was totally false that 7 tickets were issued in my name...I did not try to travel at all."

As soon as the House met for the day, Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul said the party has been cooperating on the issue since the controversy broke out. "He is present and will make a statement. Either you allow him (to speak) now or later today, he should be allowed (to speak)," he said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said he can speak during Zero Hour but not during Question Hour.

Before Adsul spoke, Sena members raised slogans against Air India when Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju rose to reply a question in regional airports. "Goonda raj band karo...nyay karo, nyay karo (Stop bullying, do justice)" was among some of the slogans they raised.

Union minister Ananth Geete, who is also a Sena leader, urged the Speaker to allow Adsul to speak briefly.

Gaikwad, who had confessed to hitting an Air India duty manager for not being given a business class seat, said in the House that on the day of the incident (March 23) he was made to travel in economy class despite having a business class ticket.

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| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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