Defiant Ravindra Gaikwad says won't apologise to Air India staffer as Sena MP Anant Geete charges at Gajapathi Raju

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, accused of beating up an Air India employee, on Thursday attended the Lok Sabha proceedings for the first time since last month's incident.

File image of Ravindra Gaikwad. CNN-News18

File image of Ravindra Gaikwad. CNN-News18

As soon as the House met for the day on Thursday, Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul said the party has been cooperating on the issue since the controversy broke out. "He is present and will make a statement. Either you allow him (to speak) now or later today, he should be allowed (to speak)," he said.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan replied that Gaikwad can speak during Zero Hour but not during Question Hour.

Before Adsul spoke, Sena members raised slogans against Air India when Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju rose to reply a question in regional airports. "Goonda raj band karo...nyay karo, nyay karo (Stop bullying, do justice)" was among some of the slogans they raised. Union minister Ananth Geete, who is also a Sena leader, urged the speaker to allow Adsul to speak briefly.

During the Zero Hour, Gaikwad wondered why was he being targeted by the media without proper investigation into the incident.

The Shiv Sena MP maintained his earlier stance and refused to apologise to the Air India official who he had beaten.

Gaikwad, who had confessed to hitting an Air India duty manager for not being given a business class seat, said in the Lower House that on the day of the incident (23 March) he was made to travel in economy class despite having a business class ticket.

He said after the Pune-Delhi flight landed in the national capital, he asked for the complaint register. "Then an officer came, then two or three more officers came.. When I said that I was a politician, one of them said 'But you are not Narendra Modi. Are you?'" said the Shiv Sena MP, giving his version of the incident.

He alleged he was pushed around by the airlines staff and then one of them held him "by the collar".

"There is video evidence of the entire incident, thanks to the air hostess of the same airlines... I am staring at a ban across all airlines," Gaikwad said and claimed that the charges against him are "unfounded" and should be taken back.

"I have been charged under IPC 308, which is for 'attempt to murder'. Was I holding any weapon?.. Is this justice," he added. Gaikwad had hit R Sukumar for not being given a business class seat on an all-economy flight, and was slapped with a flight ban across all airlines.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 06, 2017 14:27 PM

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