Caught in a row over alleged deboarding of a family to accommodate him on an Air India flight, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Thursday remained unapologetic, saying he had “not misused” his status and in turn accused the pilot of misbehaving with him.
Singh termed the allegations against him as “media trial” and said the question about deboarding should be asked to the airlines.
He targeted the pilot and other staff of the Leh-Delhi flight of June 24 involved in the controversial development, alleging rude behaviour and complained to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju about it in a letter to him.
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“It is media trial. You are doing injustice to democracy. We are targeted because of being politicians. We have not misused our powers. This is wrong perception which is being spread. I am not going to accept it,” Singh told reporters on a sidelines of an event in Udhampur.
“We have no authority to de-board anybody. We did not do it. Just ask this question to Air India. We did not know about it,” he said.
The controversy erupted after reports that a family of three persons was not allowed on the flight to accommodate Nirmal Singh, along with Union Minister of State for Home Kirren Rijiju and his aide.
Asked whether he would apologise for VVIP ‘racism’ and incident, the Deputy Chief Minister said “apology should come from Air India. They have also to apologise to me also for the misbehavior of their pilot with me”.
On the issue of delay caused to the flight, he said, “I reached well before time and doors of plane had been shut before that by the pilot. Pilot misbehaved with me. It took off later at the right time and reached Delhi 10 minutes before its scheduled time. It was announced by the pilot.”