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Not hiding, but said to keep quiet

Gaikwad will celebrate Gudi Padwa with his family and later attend Lok Sabha proceedings.

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who had received flak for assaulting a 60 year old Air India official said that he is not hiding and will issue a clarification on Wednesday. Gaikwad who was blacklisted by airline companies after the incident had to board August Kranti Express from Hazrat Nizamuddin station to Mumbai on Saturday.

Defending himself Gaikwad said, “I am not hiding and will remain present in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. I will come to Omerga on Tuesday and celebrate Marathi new year ‘Gudi Padwa’ with my family and Shiv Sena activists.”

The 57-year-old MP, who represents Osmanabad nonetheless failed to disclose his current location.

“A senior Sena leader did not call me to ‘Matoshree’ and hence I won’t be going there to meet senior party leaders,” he added.

Gaikwad is yet to return to his home in Umarga, Osmanabad and his family members are waiting for him. Gaikwad said that he had received instructions from senior party leader to refrain from speaking with the media over the controversial incident. Netizens had criticised Gaikwad and said that legislators must behave politely as they are representatives of the people. Even Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is unhappy with Gaikwad and refused to intervene in this matter. He also has sought a clarification from Gaikwad in this regard. Thus Sena has distanced itself from this incident.

Uddhav said, “Shiv Sena has taken serious note of this incident and we condemn it. Our party fights for the rights of the common man and doesn’t support violence.”

Senior party member Manohar Joshi refrained from commenting on the controversy by saying, “We will find out as to why this incident happened. I don’t talk about anything without proper information and understanding. I would comment on it after knowing versions of both the side.”

Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said “Party has taken the incident (of AI staffer’s assault) seriously. We do not subscribe to such instances.”

On the other hand, Gaikwad’s wife Usha has come forward in defence of her husband. She said, “The Air India is responsible for this incident and my husband has been made a scapegoat. My husband was trying to file a complaint against the substandard service offered by the airline. However instead of filing complaint Air India officials tried to have an argument with him. I have never seen him venting his frustration against anybody.”

Gaikwad is planning to take legal action against Air India. He alleged that officials had abused him. He demanded that an inquiry should be initiated into the video (about the incident), which has gone viral.

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