"Thought I Was Done For": Rahul Gandhi Plans Post-Flight Scare Pilgrimage

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressed the "Jan Aakrosh" rally at Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan, outside the iconic Red Fort. It was seen as a platform to flag off the party campaign for the 2019 general elections.

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'Thought I Was Done For': Rahul Gandhi Plans Post-Flight Scare Pilgrimage

Rahul Gandhi's team has asked for a probe to ascertain if his aircraft had been tampered with.


New Delhi:  A big scare during a flight last week has pushed Rahul Gandhi to decide on a pilgrimage. His destination is Kailash Manasarovar, a lake in Tibet Autonomous Region of China, considered the abode of Lord Shiva, the deity venerated by the Congress chief.

In his address to the Jan Aakrosh rally held in Delhi today, 48-year-old Mr Gandhi sought 15 days' leave from his audience after the Karnataka election.

Describing his plight during a journey on Thursday, Mr Gandhi said, "Two-three days ago, I was on way to Karnataka when my flight dropped nearly 8000 feet. I thought I was done for. It flashed into my mind that I wanted to visit Kailash Manasarovar... So after the Karnataka elections I seek leave for 10-15 days, so can make that trip."

Mr Gandhi's aircraft, which was on way from Delhi to Karnataka's Hubli, had reportedly developed "multiple faults", pushing his team to ask for an investigation. A complaint filed by Kaushal Vidyarthee, who was accompanying the Congress president, filed a complaint, asking the authorities to find out if there was any "intentional tampering".

In his complaint, Mr Vidyarthee had recalled their 40-minute ordeal. The plane, his letter said, suddenly tilted to one side, lost altitude and there was violent shuddering of the aircraft body though the weather outside was clear.  A clanking noise came from one side throughout.

The civil aviation regulator DGCA later told news agency ANI that the problem was with the "autopilot mode and the pilot shifted to manual and landed safely."

In the run-up to the Gujarat assembly elections, Mr Gandhi had given a religious status update to explain his visits to various temples of the state, which had riled the BJP. His family, he had said, were devotees of the Lord Shiva, but it was always kept private and not used for political gains. 


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