New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Thursday witnessed utter 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 on their colleague Ravindra Gaikwad.
BJP members, including several union ministers, watched in shock as their allies hit Raju's bench in anger and did not let him leave.
According to a report in NDTV, Geete shouted, “No flight will take off from Mumbai” while charging at Raju.
Soon thereafter several leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, tried to placate Geete and his colleagues while Raju was ushered out.
The incident occurred soon after the House was adjourned as Sena members created a ruckus, protesting Raju's response to Gaikwad's statement. Gaikwad attended the House for the first time after the incident.
They were upset with Raju's brief but pointed remarks following Gaikwad's statement in which the Sena MP denied any wrongdoing on his part and instead accused Air India officials of misbehaving with him and sought action against them, especially the airline's CMD.
He tendered an apology to Parliament but insisted that he owed no apology to the airline officials as he sought removal of the ban imposed on him by domestic airlines after he allegedly beat up an Air India officer with slippers.
Raju said it was up to Gaikwad to decide if he wanted to defuse the matter or aggravate it, asserting that what has happened is as per the law which will take its own course.
Refusing any preferential treatment to the Sena member, he said the matter was not about an MP but a passenger.
"Aircraft is a machine where people fly. Safety is important. Safety cannot be compromised," Raju said, apparently justifying the ban on Gaikwad.
His reply provoked the agitating Sena members who trooped out of their seats and surrounded Raju's seat in the front row.
Before Raju spoke, Geete too joined his colleagues in condemning the action against Gaikwad and appeared to be taking a dig at the central govenment, saying it is a people's government but the "one-sided decision" was "shameful and tragic".
Raju sat quietly as the Sena members, including Geete, shouted at him in anger.
After several adjournments, the Home Minister sought to defuse the crisis by telling the House that the Civil Aviation Minister will talk to "all stakeholders to reach an amicable solution."