The Shiv Sena threatened on Thursday to stop all flights from Mumbai in protest against the grounding of its controversial lawmaker Ravindra Gaikwad, who drew widespread condemnation over thrashing a senior Air India employee last month.
“If it (the ban) goes on like this, we will not allow aircraft to take off from Mumbai,” Sena MPs were heard saying in Lok Sabha amid a ruckus over the issue. Sparks flew in the House as Sena supported Gaikwad and the government defended the national carrier that joined five other airlines in banning the Osmanabad MP from flying.
“If you want to diffuse the situation, we can do it. If you want to aggravate it, you are free to do that. But aircraft safety will not be compromised,” said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju. His comments led to such a ruckus that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House temporarily.
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