AI-Gaikwad row: Shiv Sena now threatens to boycott NDA meet

| Updated: Apr 06, 2017 23:03 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr. 6 (ANI): Upping the ante against the government, the BJP's alliance partner Shiv Sena on Wednesday threatened to boycott the meeting convened by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if the ban on its party lawmaker Ravindra Gaikwad is not lifted by April 10. "If this issue is not resolved by April 10, we will not attend the NDA meeting," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said. Raut also targeted the airlines for adopting double standards against Gaikwad, saying, "The airlines have been instrumental in evacuating Dawood Ibrahim from India, they were also instrumental in safely evacuating Vijay Mallya, what wrong has our MP committed. Noted criminals can board your flight, Kashmiri separatists can board your flight. Even the Pakistan artistes and rapists can board your plane, but Ravindra Gaikwad cannot." Raut further said they will wait for the government to find a solution. "The government, especially Rajnath Singh, has assured us that they will soon find a solution to this issue. We have also talked to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju. Now, we will leave it to the government. We believe in him, hope he fulfill his commitments," he said. Shiv Sena MP and Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete on her part said this matter is being sorted out, adding it is being looked upon by the Civil Aviation Minister. Earlier, the Shiv Sena MPs surrounded Raju over the flying ban on Gaikwad and threatened that unless it is lifted they "won't allow the airlines to fly from Mumbai". The incident happened after the Lok Sabha was adjourned by Smitra Mahajan till 12.45 p.m. over the Shiv Sena protest. Earlier, the Shiv Sena MPs were agitated over a statement of the Civil Aviation Minister, who reiterated that the ban was not aimed at a Member of Parliament, but for a passenger and safety was most important in flights. This led to a protest by the Shiv Sena members and the House was adjourned. Gaikwad, who was banned from flying after he assaulted an Air India staff, said that he had been provoked and alleged that the airlines staff misbehaved with him. Speaking on the issue during Zero Hour, Gaikwad demanded that the flying ban on him be lifted. He got support from other opposition parties. The Shiv Sena MP also said that he can apologise to the Parliament but will not apologise to the airline staffer. (ANI)