With the minister cleared to fly again, angry Twitterati collectively voiced their dissatisfaction with the decision.
@narendramodi The Ban on Air Travel of an Shivsena MP should not have been lifted. These people does not deserve any privileges.— Mayank joshi (@mayankjoshi296) April 7, 2017
Following the outrage on social media, Junior Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha today explained the decision to lift the flying restrictions on the Shiv Sena MP in a series of tweets.
Shri Gaikwad apologised and provided undertaking that such incidents will not reoccur. Therefore AI has been advised to revoke his ban 1/n— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
Police investigations regarding Shri Gaikwad's conduct during the Mar 23 incident are underway and the law will take its own course 2/n— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
Air travellers should note that safety and security for passengers and crew is our paramount priority. Unruly / disruptive behaviour ... 4/n— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
... will result in severe consequences. This includes police action for a specific incident as well as being placed on a no-fly list n/n— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
There were many responses to the minister, but one stood out. A Twitter user, Prasanto Roy, asked the minister if people could "slap an MP and later give an apology", in an apparent dig at Mr Gaikwad's apology in parliament following which he was allowed to fly again.
"Question, Mr Sinha: could we each slap an MP 25 times with our shoes and later give an undertaking and apology? Asking for a friend," he tweeted.
The minister refrained from responding directly to the question and instead said an FIR has been registered against the erring lawmaker for the March 23 incident.
Answer: Case has been registered against Shri Gaikwad including Sections 308 (culpable homicide) and 355 (assault) for Mar 23 incident. https://t.co/Z7qziZ5yGH— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
The lawmaker from Maharashtra's Osmanabad has refused to apologise to the Air India staff he assaulted. On March 23, he hit a 60-year-old duty manager of Air India with his slipper 25 times. Upset about being made to travel economy class despite holding an open business class ticket, the lawmaker refused to get off his seat. When the duty manager tried to talk to him, the two got into an argument and the lawmaker thrashed him and later boasted about it in interviews to TV channels.