Mumbai: Ravindra Gaikwad, the punch-throwing MP from the Shiv Sena, is traveling from Mumbai to Delhi by road, reported the Press Trust of India today.
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The politician is finding it tough to get around after he hit an Air India manager last week and then delivered the equivalent of a victory dance by bragging to reporters that "I hit him with my slipper 25 times."
Air India and other carriers have jointly banned Mr Gaikwad; yesterday, Air India cancelled his tickets for two separate flights to Delhi this morning. The politician was then reported to have boarded a train to the capital to attend parliament. However, "Gaikwad is reaching Delhi by car today but will not attend the day's proceedings of the Lok Sabha," sources close to the MP told the Press Trust of India.
On Thursday last, Mr Gaikwad refused to exit the plane that flew him and about 160 others from Pune to Delhi. An Air India manager then boarded the jet to reason with him. The 60-year-old man was then beaten by the MP, who also allegedly tried to shove him off the mobile stairwell used by passengers to disembark.
After airlines refused to fly him, he took a train back to Maharashtra last week.
After stating that he has no reason to apologize, the politician has in a long letter stated that it was Air India officials who first attacked him and not the other way around. He also claims that he was provoked by the manager threatening to complain about him to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitar Mahajan has suggested the ban on him is unfeasible; she said MPs often need to fly to attend parliament. The Sena and other parties have objected a blanket ban on the politician as well. Sanjay RAut of the Sena told NDTV last evening that it should be the law and not airlines who punish the MP.
The MP is accused of beating up an elderly AI staffer with a sandal last Thursday. Also, there were reports that he took a train from Mumbai to Delhi and was scheduled to reach the national capital today after a TV channel yesterday showed the reservation chart, having his name, pasted on coach A-3 of Rajdhani at the Mumbai Central Railway Station.
However, the sources said he decided to travel by car to Delhi. "He is not in Maharashtra at present and is expected to reach Delhi anytime today," they said.