- Footage shows people confronting Pragya Thakur
- She was annoyed over not being allowed to sit on pre-allotted seat
- Airline said passenger safety is a factor it cannot compromise on
Two days after a disagreement between BJP MP Pragya Thakur and air staffers over seating arrangements resulted in the delay of a Delhi-Bhopal SpiceJet flight on Saturday, a video of the incident showed the politician arguing with other passengers over the inconvenience they were being subjected to on her account.
The footage shows people confronting Ms Thakur with reminders that as a representative of the people, she was duty-bound to not "trouble" them. "You should have the moral compass to own up if other people are being inconvenienced because of you. Despite being a (political) leader, you are holding 50 people at ransom," one of them is heard telling the Bhopal MP.
In the background, a woman passenger tells attendants that it is their responsibility to resolve the issue at the earliest. "Is there no value for anybody's time? Why don't you take a decision on this? There is no professionalism here," she says.
This wins the Internet:pic.twitter.com/4KFpDpbJYM— santhoshd (@santhoshd) December 22, 2019
Ms Thakur was annoyed over not being allowed to sit on a pre-allotted seat due to rules that forbid wheelchair-bound passengers from occupying the emergency row. Although the leader eventually moved to another seat, she lodged a complaint against the airline after reaching the Bhopal airport.
"The attendants on this airline do not behave properly with passengers," she told reporters.
SpiceJet responded by saying that while it regrets the inconvenience caused to the BJP leader, passenger safety is a factor it cannot compromise on.
In the video, Ms Thakur is heard telling angry co-passengers that she is willing to relinquish her seat so long as the issue is clarified through documentary proof. "I said this at the beginning -- show me your rulebook. If I don't feel comfortable, I will go," she says, adding that she had agreed to go economy even though "she has the right to a first class seat".
The BJP politician had defeated Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh by a margin of nearly 3.65 lakh votes to win the Bhopal seat in the Lok Sabha elections.
Reacting to the video, Ms Thakur told news agency ANI that she was misunderstood by her co-passengers on the plane. "Some passengers came and asked why the flight is being delayed. They thought I was showing off my VIP status, but I was travelling as a normal passenger. I travelled in the back with great pain, and later lodged a complaint with the Bhopal Airport Director," she said.
(With inputs from ANI)