Shiv Sena threatens to boycott NDA meeting over Ravindra Gaikwad issue

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Shiv Sena threatens to boycott NDA meeting over Ravindra Gaikwad issue

Airlines' ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad likely to be lifted this evening: sources

New Delhi:  The Shiv Sena on Thursday threatened to boycott the proposed NDA meeting next week, if the airlines' ban on party lawmaker Ravindra Gaikwad is not lifted.

"If the flying ban on Gaikwad is not lifted, we will boycott the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) meeting to be held on April 10. I am saying this after discussing it with party chief Uddhav Thackeray," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said while addressing a press conference in premises of the Parliament.

Mr Raut said the government had assured that an amicable solution to the controversy would be found at the earliest.

"We respect Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh and hope he will find the solution. The ball is now in the government's court. It is their responsibility to solve it," he said.

Mr Gaikwad, a Lok Sabha member from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, abused and assaulted 60-year-old duty manager R Sukumar of Air India late last month.

He said that he beat up the official "25 times with a footwear" because he had to travel economy class though he had an open business class ticket. The flight was an all-economy one and had no business class section.

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The lawmaker was later banned by Air India from flying aboard its aircraft, following which other private airlines also refused to fly him.

Today, the government indicated that it would intervene to end the ban as a denouement for the ugly drama that Mr Gaikwad has fronted; however, there would be no attempt to interfere with two criminal cases filed by Air India against the politician, said sources.

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