POLITICS

Won't Allow Any Flights Out Of Mumbai If Ravindra Gaekwad's Ban Continues, Threatens Shiv Sena MP In Lok Sabha

Shiv Sena MP Anand Geete also charged at Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

06/04/2017 2:44 PM IST | Updated 06/04/2017 3:32 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju talking to media persons on the issue of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who admitted to thrashing an elderly Air India, at Parliament during the Budget Session on March 24, 2017 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Upset at the flying ban imposed on a party leader by several airlines, including flag carrier Air India, Shiv Sena MP Anand Geete on Thursday charged at Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in the Lok Sabha, and threatened to disrupt air services in Mumbai if Ravindra Gaekwad is not taken off the no-fly list.

As other lawmakers rushed to form a protective shield around Raju, Geete was escorted out by BJP's SS Ahluwalia. But he was heard screaming "If ban continues, we will not allow aircrafts to take off from Mumbai."

In his defence, Gaekwad said he was "abused and manhandled" by an Air India official on a Pune-Delhi flight, while tendering a conditional apology. Gaikwad had boasted of hitting Air India official R. Sukumar with a slipper and had allegedly tried to push him down the stairs on to the tarmac, prompting Air India and other private airlines to ban him from flying.

"I apologise for my behaviour, but I am not apologetic to the airline official who abused and manhandled me, and spoke in a derogatory manner about parliamentarians and the prime minister," Gaekwad said. According to him, Sukumar asked him "So what if you are an MP? Are you Narendra Modi?"

However Raju's comment, "the law should take its course. Aircraft are machines where people fly and safety is important. Safety will not be compromised," angered Geete who charged at the minister.

"I have spoken to Geete and the aviation minister. The latter will meet all stakeholders and work out a solution soon," said Rajnath Singh.

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