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Co-passengers defend CM

Fadnavis has tweeted that he will file defamation once he returns back to India.

Air-IndiaTwo passengers have come forward to support Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who had received flak for the delayed Air India flight to the United States. The Congress had asked Fadnavis to apologise for the incident. Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had demanded an apology from Fadnavis for causing inconvenience to passengers. Two passengers who were travelling in the US bound Air India flight said that Fadnavis was not responsible for the delay of the flight. They posted their comments on microblogging site and defended the CM.

arvind shah @leoarvind
@Dev_Fadnavis “I was in AI 191 and sitting behind CM in seat (8D), and neither called or try to delay flight, he was busy reading file.”

Dushyant @dushyantkagarwa
@Dev_Fadnavis “I was present in the flight AI 191. CM and delegation reached in time. Flight delayed due to immigration problem.”

According to his Twitter profile @dushyantkagarwa, is an author and freelance journalist based in Udaipur.

Both the tweets were retweeted by Fadnavis, who had first denied the allegation that he had forced to delay the flight to New York in a tweet on June 30.

As per the Air India, flight AI191 to Newark from Mumbai was delayed by 57 minutes partly due to technical/operational reasons, and also the ATC.

Fadnavis is very upset with the allegations made against him for delaying the flight. The CM said that he will file for defamation once he was back in the country over the controversy of his delegation delaying the Air India flight from Mumbai to New York on June 29. This incident was widely reported in media.

Devendra Fadnavis @Dev_Fadnavis
Enough is enough. Once I m back to India I will initiate proceedings of criminal defamation.

He also dubbed the reports against him as “misleading”. “I reiterate, the reports of me delaying flight are misleading. In fact when I’d already boarded, how can I say I won’t travel without delegation?” said Fadnavis on Twitter.

Fadnavis is on a week long trip to the US for bringing investments into the state.

“If at all any report that has been submitted states that I refused to travel without my delegation then it is a blatant lie, because passengers sitting besides and behind me are witness that I was sitting quietly waiting for departure. Not even once I asked to offload me,” the Chief Minister said.

A journalist spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “We had received information from the sources of Air India. The flight was delayed as Fadnavis’s secretary had failed to carry his old passport.”

“Fadnavis had said that he will file defamation case. Let’s wait and watch as we too have vital information about the reason behind the flight’s delay” said another journalist.

The incident took place on Monday when Fadnavis was leaving on week-long visit to the US along with Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya and Principal Secretary Pravin Pardeshi.

As per media reports, Pardeshi was cleared at the check-in, but was held back as the passport he was carrying did not have a valid US visa. He had a valid US visa on his old passport and he arranged to bring it, only after which he was allowed to proceed to the aircraft.

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