A Telugu Desam Party MP allegedly created a major scene at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday after reporting late for a flight to Hyderabad, reported The Times of India.
JC Diwakar Reddy, Lok Sabha MP from Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh, reached the airport less than 45 minutes before Indigo flight 6E 608 was to take off. When told that check-in for the flight had been closed, he threw a tantrum, the report said.
The English daily reported that the TDP politician got restless and abusive when denied a ticket. He entered the ticketing corner of IndiGo inside the airport and allegedly damaged some furniture and a printer.
Interestingly, Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju was in the VVIP lounge of the airport when the incident occurred. The MP visited the lounge to seek the minister’s help, but Raju declined to interfere.
“We are investigating the matter and have no comments to offer till such time that we have completed a thorough investigation. Safety and security of our colleagues and customers is our highest priority,” Indigo said in a statement, reported The Indian Express. But The Times of India reported an IndiGo spokesperson as saying, “IndiGo confirms the incident of an unruly behaviour on board 6E 608 en-route from Vizag to Hyderabad. MP JC Diwakar Reddy who was scheduled to fly with IndiGo reported 28 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The staff politely informed him that boarding for flight 6E 608 is closed and offered to accommodate Reddy in the subsequent flight. Reddy expressed his annoyance and soon raged against the staff using aggressive and abusive behaviour.”
The MP was apparently later allowed to board the same flight he intended to take, which was thus delayed beyond its departure time of 8.10 pm.
A grainy video of the incident shows Reddy arguing with the airline officials, while another shows him pushing an airline staffer. However, Reddy has denied the reports.
This is not the first time Reddy has created trouble at an airport. Last October, Reddy had barged into the Air India office at Gnnavaram airport in Vijaywada and damaged furniture after he missed his flight, reported The Times of India.
Earlier this year, Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, Ravindra Gaikwad, was banned from flying by Air India and several private carriers, after he assaulted a 60-year-old Air India staffer for not providing a business class seat on a Pune-Delhi flight. After pressure from the Shiv Sena, the Central government stepped in asking Air India to lift the ban on Gaikwad.
The Aviation Ministry plans to unveil a “no fly list” by the end of June. Unruly passengers can be banned from flying for a minimum of three months under the new rules.