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Apologise to parliament but not to AI official: Sena MP Gaikwad

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, accused of beating up an Air India employee, on Thursday claimed innocence in the Parliament, saying the national carrier staffer misbehaved first.

“I apologize to parliament, but not to him,” said Ravindra Gaikwad and his colleagues from the party cheered him as he made a long speech in the Lok Sabha.

Gaikwad demanded that the flying ban on him should be lifted. He got support from other opposition parties.

Gaikwad, who told TV channels after the March 23 incident that he beat the Air India official with his sandal “25 times”, said in the House that on the day of the incident he was made to travel in economy class despite having a business class ticket.

“The AI official spoke rudely, held my collar, but I remained calm, as humility is in my nature,” said Gaikwad.

Gaikwad claimed he just pushed an official only after he was pushed around.

The Sena MP claimed that an official, when asked about his identity, told him that he was “Air India ka baap” (Air India’s father) and taunted him by asking “are you Narendra Modi”, when he said he was a Lok Sabha MP.

He demanded a thorough inquiry into the whole incident and action against all the airlines which have put him on no fly list.

Gaikwad also questioned Delhi Police’s action of registering an FIR under Section 308 (attempt to murder) against him.

Lok Sabha member from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, 57-year-old Gaikwad accused the media of being biased towards him.

Gaikawad also said that different tickets were booked in his name by other people later, adding that the Aadhaar or other identity cards should be made mandatory for booking an airline ticket.

“Probe the whole incident, see who is guilty, and lift the flying ban on me,” he urged.

The Shiv Sena on Thursday threatened to boycott the April 10 NDA meeting if the issue of ban on party MP Ravindra Gaikwad is not resolved by then.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut alleged that its leader was being unfairly targeted.

“Rapists, terrorists and even Kashmiri separatists can travel in aeroplanes but not Gaikwad,” Sanjay Raut said, adding, “home minister Rajnath Singh has assured us of proper investigation.”

We will soon expose who is responsible behind this whole episode, Raut said.

Raut attacked the airlines and said they had allowed safe passage to loan defaulters like Vijay Mallaya.

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