Sena MPs and ministers ‘ghearo’ Aviation Minister in LS

New Delhi: Close on the heels of utter chaos in the Lok Sabha and repeated adjournments over the flight controversy pertaining to Shiv Sena Member Ravindra Gaikwad, the Government today assured that "all stake holders" will hold talks on the issue and resolve the problem at the earliest. "I have held talks with both Civil Aviation Minister (Ashok Gajapati Raju) and Heavy Industries Minister (Anant Geete) and both of them also spoke to each other. All stake holders will be taken into confidence and the dispute will be resolved at the earliest," Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the House.

He described the episode involving Gaikwad as ‘unfortunate’. The Home Minister's words of assurance came within an hour after the House witnessed unprecedented raucous scenes over the Civil Aviation Minster's remarks that 'safety’ in flights is of paramount importance and there would not be any compromise on that score. The Minister made the remarks in the House during Zero Hour after the Shiv Sena MP raised the issue of his being banned by Air India and other airlines. "Aircraft is a machine which flies with passengers and safety will not be compromised," said Raju.

Gaikwad had earlier during Zero Hour said that he was being "subjected to media trial" and besides Air India, other airlines have also banned his air travel. The chaotic scenes led to the adjournment of the House thrice, first at around 1230 hrs, then again at 1245 hrs, followed by third adjournment at 1300 hrs, for about 15 minutes. That the Sena MPs were giving importance to the issue can be understood from the fact that party's Rajya Sabha Member P Sanjay Raut, also known as party chief Uddhav Thackeray's point-man in Delhi, was seated in the VIP gallery and keeping an eye on the proceedings in the Lower House. Immediately after Raju made his brief response, the Union Minister for Heavy Industries moved close to the Civil Aviation Minister and told him that his response was not acceptable to the party. "You have to withdraw the order," said Geete, referring to the blanket ban on Gaikwad for his air travel.

Amid the din as number of Sena MPs rushed to the Well of the House, Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress seemed to have sympathised with Sena lawmakers and wanted to know from Raju on ‘what law of aviation’ a passenger can be blacklisted from air travel. Amid chaos, the House was adjourned and several Sena Members rushed towards Raju and tried to heckle him. Union Ministers, including the Home Minister and his colleagues Smiriti Irani, S S Ahluwalia and Ananth Kumar rushed to the spot and separated both Raju and Geete.

UNI