The flight ban on the Shiv Sena MP, Ravindra Gaikwad, is expected to be cleared, after he sent a regret letter to the Civil Aviation Minister, Gajapathi Raju, for allegedly assaulting an Air India employee.
The Shiv Sena MP, has been banned from flying any airlines, after he allegedly beat up an elderly Air India staffer, with slippers. The regret letter, came after the Sena MPs unleashed an uproar in the parliament, and the Gaikwad’s defiant speech in Lok Sabha, where he denied attacking any airline employee, and tried to play the victim.
The uncontrolled Sena MPs, including the Union Minister, Anant Geete, not only created a ruckus, but surrounded Mr Ashok Gajapati Raju. Gajapathi Raju, made it categorically clear, that there would be “no preferential treatment”, for the Sena MP.
The Shiv Sena, had even threatened the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) party, if the flying ban was not lifted against Gaikwad. Gaikwad who attended the Parliament, for the first time, after the incident, was forced to dispatch the regret letter, and pleaded Gajapathi Raju, to lift the ban.
Gaikwad, wrote and added, “I write to convey my regrets for the unfortunate incident that took place on 23 March 2017 in the Air India flight No. AI 852.It could have been no ones intention to have let the situation elevate, to the level it eventually did.”
“While the ongoing investigation, will bring out the accurate sequence of events, to fix responsibility, this incident may kindly not be seen as a reason for likely recurrence of such an event, in the future also,” he added.
So far, the Civil Aviation Minister, has not come up with any official response, to lift the ban, and merely said the ban was “still in force”, and the Sena’s MP letter was being “examined.”
Along with other Shiv Sena MPs, Trinamul MP, Mr Kalyan Banerjee also came out in support of the Shiv Sena, and unleashed their anger on the aviation minister.
Gajapathi raju, who was gheraoed by the Sena MPs, refused to let him leave, and at this juncture, Mr. Geete banged the aviation minister’s table. Later, Home Minister, Rajnath Singh intervened and assured that, Mr. Raju, would speak to the stakeholders, to reach an amicable solution.
Sena MP, Sanjay Raut, claimed that, “there was a conspiracy behind the ban. If separatists, rapists and terrorists are allowed to travel on flights then why not an MP?” he further questioned.
What Gaikwad said in Lok Sabha:
- Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to speak in the House regarding the injustice done with me.
- I am here to speak about the bad treatment the airline staff meted out to me and its effort to paint the entire parliament wrong.
- Madam Speaker you are like a mother to me. I fail to understand what wrong have I done. What is my fault that a media trial is going on against me without any probe being held?
- I had a business class ticket, whereas I was made to occupy economy class. I did not fight for a seat.
- While disembarking I requested for a complaint book. An officer shouted at me and said, he is the “Baap” of AI.
- I lost my cool. I replied, I am an MP. He said, but you are not Narendra Modi. He held me by my collar and tried to push me. At this, I lost my cool and I pushed him. Yes, I pushed him.
- The crew used unparliamentary language against Parliament and MPs. I will submit video clippings to prove the charge.
- While those who are wrong are free, I am being denied my constitutional right to fly not only by Air India but also by other airlines.
- Madam, I am booked under Section 308 of IPC, which is an attempt to murder charge. It should be done away with as no probe is held.
- After the incident, there were reports that I tried to book ticket seven times. However, someone else tried to do it in my name.
- The mentality of those who threw Mahatma Gandhi out of the train, denied visa to Narendra Modi, and maligned me is the same.
- Uddhav Thackeray has asked me to apologize to the House. But not to the AI officer.