Ravindra Gaikwad expressed doubts that he booked seven tickets after airlines banned him

Ravindra Gaikwad expressed doubts about booking seven tickets after airlines banned him

Mumbai, April08:Controversial Shiv Sena Member of Parliament reached Mumbai today morning, travelling to the financial capital by train.

On Friday, the government ordered Air India to lift its 15-day ban on the Osmanabad MP after he expressed ‘regret’ in Parliament for the March 23 incident in which he assaulted an airline employee.

Following the incident, multiple airlines barred him from flying with them. There were also at least seven reports of airlines cancelling tickets booked in his name.

 Gaikwad, however, says he never booked those tickets.

Speaking to news agency ANI in Mumbai, Gaikwad said that there were seven instances of air tickets being booked in his name in the days after the March 23 incident.

‘I did not do it. Who did? I have raised the issue in Parliament,’ he told the agency.

He further went on to say, “Vo aadmi(AI official whom Gaikwad assaulted) pagal hai, uske khilaaf aise 8 cases hain jhagda karne ke (The AI staffer is mad, he has eight similar cases registered against him.”

THE RAVINDRA GAIKWAD SAGA
  1. On March 23, Gaikwad, travelling in an Air India flight from to Delhi, got into an argument with AI staffers on reaching the IGI airport. The argument was over missing business class seats on the plane.
  2. The MP claimed the airline did not inform him at the time of booking that the flight would not have business class seats even though he booked a ticket for the same. The argument descended into violence when Gaikwad started hitting a 60-year-old Air India employee with his slippers.
  3. Air India immediately filed an FIR with Delhi Police over the matter even as news about the incident started grabbing headlines across India.
  4. The next day, on March 24, Air India announced that the MP was no longer welcome to fly with them. Private carriers, including IndiGo and Jet Airways, followed suit, saying they would not fly Gaikwad.
  5. The Shiv Sena backed Gaikwad and also slammed the airlines for what the party said was an unfair decision to blacklist the MP from flying. In the meantime, Gaikwad was forced to travel by train to his constituency and then back to Delhi to attend Parliament.
  6. While the ban was in place, there were multiple reports of attempts being made to book airline tickets in the name of Ravindra Gaikwad. Air India and IndiGo both blocked those attempts. In total, there were seven instances of tickets in the name of Ravindra Gaikwad getting cancelled.
  7. On Thursday, April 6, the Shiv Sena raked up the issue in Parliament demanding the ban on Gaikwad be rolled back. Later on Thursday evening, Gaikwad wrote to the civil aviation minister, expressing regret for the incident. Notably, he did not specifically apologised.
  8. On Friday, April 7, the government relented and ordered Air India to withdraw its ban on the MP. The ban lasted 15 days and even though he was cleared to fly, Gaikwad chose to travel to Mumbai by the Rajdhani Express. He reached the city’s Borivali station today morning.
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