After stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra was suspended from flying by SpiceJet and Air India on Tuesday, several Twitter users remembered the controversy over Malegaon blast accused and Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur’s seat allotment last month.
In December, after Thakur complained that SpiceJet denied her the seat she had booked on the flight, the airline clarified that the BJP leader was asked by the crew to move to a non-emergency row seat as she was in a wheelchair. Thakur had, however, refused and the flight was delayed by 45 minutes, it added.
A SpiceJet spokesperson had said then that the first row is the emergency row seat in the aircraft and is not allocated to passengers on wheelchairs.
“As the BJP MP had come with her own wheelchair and had not booked through the airline, the staff weren’t aware of the fact that she was a wheelchair passenger.”
A video showing the Bhopal MP arguing with the crew and passengers over seat allotment had gone viral last month. The airline spokesperson also said that while some passengers requested her to change the seat, others asked the airline staff to offload her.
After Kamra was banned by airlines for allegedly heckling journalist Arnab Goswami on a flight, several people asked why similar action was not taken against Thakur.
First, IndiGo suspended Kamra from flying for a period of six months “as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour”. The airline didn’t disclose whether it was acting on any complaints.
Then, strangely, Air India, in a tweet, also said Kamra’s conduct was unacceptable. “With a view to discourage such behavior onboard, Mr Kunal Kamra is suspended from flying on any Air India flight until further notice.”
Not to be left behind, SpiceJet also suspended him from flying till further notice.