Row over Mamata Banerjee flight incident echoes in Parliament

Aviation regulator DGCA ordered an inquiry into the incidents of as many as three flights, including one carrying Banerjee, reporting low fuel on Wednesday at the same time.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: December 2, 2016 1:18 pm
Mamata Banerjee, IndiGo flight, Mamata Banerjee flight, Mamata Banerjee IndiGo flight, Mamata Banerjee Parliament, Parliament, TMC, DGCA, mukul roy, derek o brien, india news Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File/Express photo by Subham Dutta)

A row erupted on Thursday over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s IndiGo flight being made to hover over Kolkata after the plane was reportedly low on fuel and it echoed in Parliament where TMC alleged threat to her life while the Centre asserted no one was in danger. Aviation regulator DGCA ordered an inquiry into the incidents of as many as three flights, including one carrying Banerjee, reporting low fuel on Wednesday at the same time.

WATCH VIDEO: Here’s Why West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee & Her Party See Conspiracy Against Her

TMC vice-president Mukul Roy alleged that a conspiracy was hatched to eliminate Banerjee and dashed off a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, demanding a thorough inquiry by his ministry to unearth the truth. IndiGo on its part said its flight carrying the Trinamool Congress supremo was delayed due to congestion over Kolkata before making a normal landing and had adequate fuel.

In a statement, IndiGo said the flight 6E 342 with 174 passengers on board made a “normal landing” at Kolkata airport and that its captain did not declare a fuel priority or an emergency, though there was some misunderstanding between the Air Traffic Controller and the pilot. According to IndiGo, the misinterpretation of information by ATC controller, led the ATC to instruct fire engines and ambulances to be stationed at the airport.

TMC raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament alleging that Banerjee’s flight was made to hover over Kolkata airport on Wednesday evening for about half an hour despite the pilot reporting that the plane was low on fuel. The government vehemently denied any design saying just when West Bengal Chief Minister’s Patna-Kolkata Indigo flight reported low on fuel, two other flights of Air India and SpiceJet also called in with the same problem.

Banerjee’s flight hovered over Kolkata airport for only 13 minutes and it was ensured that the aircraft landed in a safe and orderly manner, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were informed by Raju and his deputy Jayant Sinha respectively. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered an inquiry to find out how three flights at the same time could fly low on fuel into Kolkata when the norms mandate them to carry enough fuel to enable hovering for 30-40 minutes as well as to carry it to the nearest diversion airport, which in this case was Bhubaneshwar.

Alleging a threat to the life of Banerjee, who is at the forefront of anti-demonetisation campaign, TMC leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay said the government should rise to the occasion and find out whether there was a conspiracy. Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said that Banerjee has been travelling to various parts of the country protesting against government’s move to ban 500 and 1000 rupee notes causing hardships to common people.

“Her life is in danger and ATC should have allowed her flight to land first. The VVIP flight should have been allowed to land in priority,” he said. Raju said it is incorrect to say that the flight was hovering over Kolkata for 30-40 minutes. “The flight was hovering for only 13 minutes. The DGCA has ordered an inquiry how all the three flights were flying low fuel.”

In the Rajya Sabha, Sinha said, “At no point was anybody’s life at risk or danger. All safety procedures were fully followed. Today it is one opposition leader… this opposition leader is at the forefront (of anti-demonetisation campaign),” TMC leader Derek O’Brien said, adding questions are being raised if it is a conspiracy to eliminate opposition leaders.

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  1. A
    Ari
    Dec 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm
    How can comment, "The VVIP flight should have been allowed to land in priority," If you are not a VVIP life isnt important? Wow!!!
    Reply
    1. D
      Dash
      Dec 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm
      this is how fuc*tards are wasting our money. parliament must function.
      Reply
      1. D
        Dash
        Dec 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm
        BombtaBiibi is playing dirty politics after losing 13-17 thousand crores(unverified IB report). Despite converting thousands of crores of blackmoney to white money,she has lost a lot. Malda fake currency racket has collapsed-she is worried. sharda money gone-she is angry.
        Reply
        1. D
          Dash
          Dec 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm
          BombtaBiibi is playing dirty politics afyer losing 13-17 thousand crores(unverifirf IB report).
          Reply
          1. A
            Against traitors
            Dec 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm
            I am having constipation. BJP is responsible for that
            Reply
            1. A
              Against traitors
              Dec 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm
              Impotent is your papa and your neighbour took advantage of it.
              Reply
              1. A
                Against traitors
                Dec 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm
                Impotent is your papa. Your neighbour was playing while your papa watched. You are the product
                Reply
                1. A
                  Against traitors
                  Dec 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm
                  Who is having fun with your mamma? Her nation building spread across comunities
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    dd
                    Dec 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm
                    I don't thinks anyone is interested to kill her...She will be killed by her own actions and Agendas.......
                    Reply
                    1. V
                      Viswa Gi
                      Dec 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm
                      Opposition, media and all wasting national time and precious time of citizens raising frivolous issues even without verifying details or waiting for an enquiry.
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        stranger
                        Dec 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm
                        this is a new type of incident for didi as kejri has copied her previous incidents like slapping, ink throwing, belt bites etc she has a new one to her credit. hope kejri follows this airplane macre a few years after.
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          HT
                          Dec 1, 2016 at 2:54 pm
                          if it there was a conspiracy to remove, she would have been removed..it's not that she made efforts to escape the plot..the airline landed her safely...
                          Reply
                          1. I
                            IML sood
                            Dec 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm
                            TMC has also turned into Nautanki party . A quick learning from AAP. Now Mumtaz will try to displace Khujli from the top post of Joker-in-chief in political arena.Alas Lalu is poorly on third position.
                            Reply
                            1. I
                              Indian
                              Dec 2, 2016 at 12:07 am
                              It seems that the people who are blaming the Minor aviation incident are hallucinating to blame the government or its leaders And simply worshipers of their chosen leaders. It is a shame that it was brought up in the Parliament.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                arvij
                                Dec 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm
                                She is the new Kim Jong Un of India, in ociation with Delhi chief minister, finding PM under the bed trying to kill her - another conspiracy by neurotic TMC, just like her original party Congress , she came out of . The owner of chit fund scam, founder of Banerjee dynasty, brother and nephew. What a bunch of scam merchants.
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  jayashanker
                                  Dec 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm
                                  dont be childish Didi.... Dont be a Kejriwal..... You are loosing your value... lt;br/gt;Please grow....
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Kumar
                                    Dec 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm
                                    .. that is how the entire Congress party is run! It came from none other than their spokesperson, Mr. Kharge.
                                    Reply
                                    1. K
                                      Kumar
                                      Dec 1, 2016 at 7:09 pm
                                      With all her unadulterated nonsense, Jehadidi is currently the star campaigner for BJP. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The government is too smart to harm her.
                                      Reply
                                      1. B
                                        Baba
                                        Dec 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm
                                        Mamta begum socch rahi hai jaise bengalio ko tutua banaya emotionally vaise sabko bana legi...
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Modi Hatao
                                          Dec 1, 2016 at 6:20 pm
                                          God Bless Mamata Banerjee. W country is with Mamata. If Modi and his RSS goons kill her then they may pay heavy price. Abki Baar Mamata Sarkar. Modi Hatao Desh Bachao.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            murty
                                            Dec 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm
                                            TMC and Mamatha team has become pa gal after all their ill gotten black money is lost.Now they want parliament to be disrupted for any silly reason. This one is an example.
                                            Reply
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