Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad Finally Gets A Business Class Seat On Air India

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Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad Finally Gets A Business Class Seat On Air India

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad took an Air India flight from Delhi to Hyderabad

New Delhi:  Shiv Sena lawmaker Ravindra Gaikwad finally got to fly in an Air India plane today. The journey from Delhi to Hyderabad was made on a business class seat -- just what he wanted on March 23. The airline's inability to oblige him on the all-economy flight had triggered a row that saw the parliamentarian hitting a 60-year-old airline executive "25 times with my slipper". The unrepentant lawmaker had even bragged about it on camera -- with the result that four airlines, including Air India, shut their doors to him.

The ban was lifted on April 7, after the civil aviation ministry had stepped in and issued a written instruction to the airline. While the lawmaker apologized, it was not to the Air India but to parliament. He said he was ready to apologise to parliament if he has "hurt its image" with his actions, he would not say sorry to the man he assaulted.

Air India has now requested the Delhi Police to hasten its inquiry over its complaint against Mr Gaikwad.

Mr Gaikwad had accused the national carrier of poor service. He claimed his Pune-Delhi business class ticket was not honoured and neither did the airline informed him about the all-economy seats. When the flight landed, he had refused to get off the plane. When a manager came to sort out the matter, he had assaulted him.

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Parliament had got involved in the matter, with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan emphasising that a lawmaker cannot take a train every time. Mr Gaikwad's party backed him and called the ban "wrong".

Last week, an editorial in Shiv Sena's newspaper "Saamna" said, "It has become a fashion now to hold politicians responsible for everything".

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