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What is Air India Chief's 'Aukat' Before Us: Shiv Sena Remains Defiant on Gaikwad

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut addresses the media on Thursday.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut addresses the media on Thursday.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday questioned the “aukat” (stature) of the Air India chief while defending party colleague Ravindra Gaikwad who has been grounded by major airlines for assaulting an Air India employee last month.

New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday questioned the “aukat” (stature) of the Air India chief while defending party colleague Ravindra Gaikwad who has been grounded by major airlines for assaulting an Air India employee last month.

“Who is the Air India chairman before us? He is just a government servant. He should stay in his limits,” Raut said at a press conference hours after the Lok Sabha witnessed unruly scenes over the issue. “Is the passenger a terrorist? There are many MPs against whom cases have been filed.”

“If the matter is not resolved by April 10, we will not attend NDA meeting,” he said, adding that the reply of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in Parliament was “not sufficient”.

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He also questioned the attempt to murder charge against Gaikwad, asking, “How can hitting someone with slippers be attempt to murder?”

Security at the airports in Pune and Mumbai has been increased following Shiv Sena’s threat to disrupt operations in Maharashtra.

Earlier in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises Anant Geete entered into altercation with civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju after the latter in a statement defended the ban saying that security comes first as far as airline travel is concerned.

The two nearly came to blows before Smriti Irani and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh intervened and caught hold of Geete, the lone Shiv Sena minister in the Union cabinet, before he reached Raju.

SS Ahluwalia, the MoS for Parliamentary Affairs, had to push Shiv Sena MPs aside to rescue Raju. Opposition MPs stood up to bring the incident to the Speaker's attention, leading to an adjournment.
first published:April 06, 2017, 15:53 IST