Sharp criticism of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad for thrashing an Air India official continued to pour in Friday from leaders across the political spectrum who termed his behaviour as “condemnable” and demanded strict action against him. Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the incident was in “bad taste” and it cannot be justified in any way.
“This is in bad taste. If an elected representative behaves like this, it is a setback to the trust of people. Action is being taken as per law. This incident cannot be justified in any way,” Naqvi said.
State carrier Air India, along with private airlines Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir today banned the MP from Osmanabad (Maharashtra) from flying on their aircraft. The Air India even cancelled his return ticket to Pune from here.
NCP leader and former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the MP should be barred from flying in any airline and that the Ethics Committee of the Parliament should take action against him.
“The question is first what happened, then he is not repenting. He does not want to accept that he has done something wrong. He should not be allowed to fly by any airline, why only Air India. Even the police action should be very strict as there is a lot of evidence.
“He (the MP) should be censured… The Ethics Committee should take action. He should not be defended by colleagues in Parliament. People should realise that defending him will bring more bad name to the politicians and MPs. I agree with decision to put him in no flight list and they should not buckle under any pressure,” he said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge termed the incident as “condemnable” and said MPs from any party, be it the Shiv Sena, BJP or the Congress should not behave in such a manner.
“He is stating that he himself has beaten (the staff). This type of behavior is condemnable. The civil aviation minister has condemned this act.
“People should also not create a controversy to bring down the status and reputation of an institution. MPs should behave carefully and politely and the same time other staff should also behave courteously,” he said.
Another Congress leader, Sanjay Nirupam, termed the incident as “objectionable and shameful” and demanded that the Shiv Sena should throw the MP out of the party.
“The way the Shiv Sena MP assaulted the Air India staff and the way he is repeatedly supporting and justifying his act, it is very objectionable and shameful. It is Shiv Sena’s duty to throw out this goonda MP from the party at the earliest,” he said.
Union minister Jayant Sinha said that such unruly behavior and violence in the air is “regrettable”.
“After all when you are flying and in the air at 30,000 feet, you are in a very fragile environment. Under those circumstances, it is very important to ensure behavior from all parties is appropriate. We take all those situations very seriously. Every such incident is investigated and then the law takes its own course,” he said.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao, while terming the incident as “highly condemnable”, said this is not the sort of behavior that people expect from an elected lawmaker.
“The people expect their politician to show exemplary behavior. By demonstrating such condemnable behavior, this MP has done a dis-service to the entire political class because people of the country develop bad image of politicians because of a few individuals who indulge in such highhandedness.
“I expect the politician concerned makes amends for his behavior and apologises for this unacceptable behavior,” he said.