BJP today asked the government to take up with the US the issue of former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s frisking at New York’s JFK airport to check for explosives in September,saying this “cannot be tolerated”.
“The way former President Kalam was treated was an insult to him. Government must take it up with the US,” BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.
Kalam was twice subjected to frisking on September 29 at New York’s JFK Airport by US security officials. Even after Kalam had taken his seat,the US security personnel forced the crew to open the door and took away the jacket and boots of the former president to check for explosives since they had forgotten to do so before his boarding an Air India flight.
Hussain said “such incidents are not happening for the first time. There are many such incidents. This cannot be tolerated.”
This is not the first time that Kalam has been frisked by US aviation officials.
Kalam was frisked by officials of US airliner Continental Airlines in April,2009 despite his name featuring in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security’s list of people exempt from security checks in India.
On a possible bailout package for cash-strapped Kingfisher airlines,Hussain said,”PM should have bailout package for aam admi (coommon man). Government should come out with a policy on sick industries. We are for bailout package for the common man of the country.”
However,the former Civil Aviation Minister did not clarify BJP’s stand on FDI in the civil aviation sector. “Earlier the government has not allowed FDI in civil aviation sector. We will wait for the government to clarify its policy on the issue and then only we will comment,” he said when asked to spell out his view on the FDI issue.
On Telengana issue,he said there should not be any delay in the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Asked to comment on UP Chief Minister’s Mayawati’s Brahmin conference in the state,he said,”When elections come,she remembers Brahmins,Muslims and others. BJP does not believe in caste politics.”