Gajapati Raju says Vizag airport incident will be probed.
Hyderabad: Almost all domestic airlines have announced a “fly ban” on Anantapur Telugu Desam Party MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy for behaving atrociously with Indigo staff at Visakhapatnam Airport on Thursday. But on Friday night, the MP and a 12-member family contingent flew out to Paris on an Emirates flight, via Dubai, on a personal 10-day trip.
Speaking to this newspaper from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport a few minutes before boarding the flight, Mr Reddy defended his behaviour, which has made headline news, and said there was no question of offering an apology to the airline.
“I am going to write to the Union civil aviation ministry on my return from Paris detailing what all happened and how I am being made a scapegoat in the whole issue, without taking action against Indigo staff who deliberately denied me a boarding pass. I know how to defend myself in the whole episode. I will raise the issue in the Lok Sabha. I demand a thorough investigation into the whole affair wherein Indigo staff overbooked the flight and issued boarding passes to a few and denied the same to many by collecting huge sums. I am collecting all the details and I will fight to protect my rights both as an individual and also as an Member of Parliament,” said a defiant Mr Reddy.
Meanwhile, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday said he would “get the entire incident at Vizag airport inquired into to find out the exact details and ensure that lawful outcomes follow”.
He said he has briefed civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on the episode. He denied that he had told the minister that he had arrived at the airport at 7.10 am, well in advance.
“I never said I came at 7.10 am. I came at 7.35 am for the 8.15 am flight to Hyderabad. Other passengers were also there at the counter,” Mr Reddy said.
He said he will go to any extent — even tendering his resignation from the Lok Sabha to prove his point. “Self-respect is more important for me than other issues,” he declared.
It may be recalled that it is Mr Reddy’s violent behaviour towards the airport staff that is at issue and not whether he was unfairly treated by the airline.