Deviating from his earlier statement, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad on Tuesday said his scuffle with an Air India staffer took place because the airline had refused his request for a complaint book, ANI reported. In his new statement, the Osmanabad MP said the national’s carrier’s employee had misbehaved with him after he said he wanted to record his feedback on their “carelessness and substandard” service.
“I was demanding proper facilities, not a business class seat. Just to hide their careless attitude and their cheating of lakhs of Air India passengers, they tried to create a picture that I was continuously demanding a business class seat. This is completely baseless,” Gaikwad told ANI.
The Sena leader had earlier said he hit the Air India employee 25 times with his sandal because he was flown in the economy class despite booking business class seats for his flights from Pune to Delhi. However, Air India had said the plane he had chosen to fly on was economy-only, and that he had refused to take a different flight.
Gaikwad had been forced to take the train after Air India and the Federation of Indian Airlines, which includes IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Jet Airways, banned him from their flights. Officials said on Tuesday the Centre was planning to establish a criteria for airlines to add people to their “no-fly list”, mint reported.
On Monday, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had said MPs are expected to attend Parliament when it is in session and cannot take a train every time they have to travel. The Shiv Sena had called for a shutdown in the state’s Osmanabad constituency, which Gaikwad represents, after the five airlines had blacklisted him.