Shiv Sena today said the media’s extensive coverage of the Gaikwad-Air India row made even infiltrations from Pakistan “look bleak” and noted that it has now become a fashion to hold politicians responsible for everything. The Sena also asked why the government was only talking about discipline while flying and not on the ground as well, and why the Centre does not threaten to dissolve a state Assembly when there is even one incident of farmer suicide. “It was surprising that the media gave so much importance to the Gaikwad episode which made even infiltrations from Pakistan look bleak,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ today quipped. “If so much media coverage was given to farmers’ suicides, the hearts of those in power would have melted over their plight,” the Sena said. “It has become a fashion now to hold politicians responsible for everything,” it said.
Air India had on April 7 lifted its ban on Gaikwad after he expressed regret for assaulting one of its employees. The Osmanabad MP had assaulted the AI employee on March 23 after he landed here on a Pune-Delhi all-economy flight. Gaikwad later boastfully claimed on TV that he had hit the official 25 times with slippers.
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The Sena asked why the government is only talking about discipline while flying and not on the ground as well. “Why are there attempts being made to discipline only Gaikwad? A TDP MP at Vijayawada airport had recently slapped a duty manager and prevented an airline from taking off its flight. Why was Gaikwad formula not applied to him as well?” it asked. “We accept that representatives of the people should behave well but nobody spoke against this TDP MP or (standup comedian) Kapil Sharma who behaved in an unruly way or even the TMC MP who created a ruckus,” it said.
The Sena said the person who hit with the slipper has done wrong, but there also needs to be an inquiry if the one who got hit was a saint or a gentleman. The editorial said Air India’s CMD may be a great man who has done great deeds, but where did his policy of firmly standing behind the airline employees get punctured in Vijayawada. “If Gaikwad is guilty, let the law punish him. But stubbornness of a few people over the episode means an absence of law,” it said. “Aviation Minister (MoS) Jayant Sinha is a gentleman and we welcome his stand to bring in discipline, but under which disciplinary rule does Air India CMD’s action of maligning the image of an elected representative on social media fit? What is Air India’s definition of discipline?” the Sena asked.