In the development to Ravindra Gaikwad-Air India row, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday stated that it would adopt a ‘wait and watch policy’ before moving a privilege motion against the airlines for barring its MP from flying in their planes. Speaking to media, the Sena MP Arvind Sawant said that the party has so far not decided on whether to move a privilege motion in Lok Sabha or not.
Sawant further said, “Speaker (Sumitra Mahajan) had sought an amicable resolution of the issue. When she has said that it would be improper to move privilege motion in the Lok Sabha at this time, we will wait for sometime.” In order to discuss the issue in details, a delegation of Sena MPs had met Mahajan yesterday where they raised concern over airlines banning its leader from travelling anywhere in the country or abroad.
Earlier in the day, reports came out that Air India had cancelled two tickets booked by Gaikwad on Delhi-bound flights from Mumbai and Hyderabad– for tomorrow. This happened days after domestic carriers banned him from flying in their aircraft in the wake of assaulting an AI staffer.
On March 28, Sena took the entire issue to Lok Sabha, requesting Speaker Mahajan to take up the flight ban with the government. Another Sena MP Anadrao Adsul defended Gaikwad’s move stating that airliner did not ban television actor/ comedian Kapil Sharma for even after getting drunk and misbehaving with his co-stars on a flight. Adsul also said that the party does not condone Gaikwad’s behaviour, but banning him from flying is wrong.
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In a reply to Adsul’s statement, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Civil Aviation Minister said that he did not expect in his ‘wildest dreams’ that an MP would get caught assaulting a 60-year old person. He said, “Violence of any kind is a disaster in civil aviation. We have a good safety record, did not expect in the wildest of dreams an MP would be caught doing this,” Its not fair to have unequal treatment of different classes of people, he added.