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Won’t attend NDA meet if ban on Gaikwad not revoked: Sena

Thursday, Apr 6, 2017,18:37 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | The Shiv Sena on Thursday threatened to boycott the NDA meeting on April 10 if the flying ban on its MP Ravindra Gaikwad, imposed by domestic airlines after he beat up an Air India officer, is not lifted.

Party sources said Heavy Industries Minister and Shiv Sena member Anant Geete and Civil Aviation Minister Gajapati Raju had a meeting after the ruckus in Lok Sabha.

Addressing a news conference, party MP Sanjay Raut said there is a conspiracy behind the ban and the party will expose it at an appropriate time with “evidence”, as he refrained from taking the BJP’s name.

However, in private, the party feels that the BJP is behind the delay in revoking the travel ban.

“If separatists, rapists and terrorists are allowed to travel on flights then why not an MP. There are so many MPs, who are involved in agitation. Are you (the airlines) going to impose a travel ban on them as well?

“We will not attend the NDA meeting on April 10 if the travel ban on Gaikwad is not revoked,” Raut said, noting that this is an “instruction from party chief Uddhav Thackeray”.

The party also sought to justify its protest in the Lok Sabha.

“Do you think the way our MP was heckled (by Air India staff) justified?” Raut asked, while another party MP Anandrao Adsul said, “we just gheraoed the minister”.

Raut also said Raju’s reply in the House on the issue was “unsatisfactory”.

Referring to the Home Minister’s statement in the House that discussions will be held with the stakeholders to find an “amicable solution” at the earliest, he said, “We trust Rajnath Singh. He has given a commitment in the House and he will fulfill it.”

The conference was attended by several Shiv Sena MPs, including Gaikwad. He, however, refrained from talking to the media.

Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha witnessed chaos as Shiv Sena members, including Union minister Anant Geete, surrounded Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju after he refused to heed to their demand for revoking the flying ban.

He said Gaikwad was booked under the wrong section of the Indian Penal Code.

“He should have been booked for assaulting (the Air India Officer) with a chappal. Instead, he has been booked for attempt to murder,” Raut said.

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