The King of Elephants Stood Firm Even When Dogged by the Goons

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What had transpired at Lok Sabha today is nothing short of disappointment and disgust. Ashok Gajapati Raju, the Civil Aviation minister was attacked unawares by Anant Geete, Shiv Sena MP in the most hurtful manner over the Ravindra Gaikwad flying ban issue.

Geete went on and on, hurling words at Gajapati Raju, when the latter refused to revoke the flying ban on Ravindra Gaikwad, after the latter hitting and abusing Air India official in the recent times. The aviation minister stood strong and mighty like a king that he is in the real world, taking his stance.

“The law should take its course. Aircraft are machines where people fly and safety is important. Safety will not be compromised.” said Raju, after which more Shiv Sena MP’s surrounded him in anger. The MPs chanted slogans against Gajapati Raju. After heated words and arguments, rest of the ministers tried to shield Raju from being subjected to a possible physical assault. Ashok Gajapati Raju left the house eventually.

The way the king of elephants was subjected to unreasonable anger and hatred falls short of words. Carrying forth the responsibility to protect the interests of citizens, Raju stepped back from considering lifting of flying ban on Gaikwad.

Just last month, Ravindra Gaikwad, the Sena’s MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra flew on Air India carrier from Pune to Delhi. Gaikwad refused to leave the plane for an hour while he demanded an explanation for not being given a business class seat.

The airliner explained that his flight was all-economy didn’t convince him. Things went worst when a 60-year-old manager arrived to persuade him to leave the plane. Gaikwad lost his temper, assaulted the official, and later bragged to the media about “hitting him 25 times with a slipper”, which led to several airlines refusing to fly him.

When the civil aviation minister is trying to perform his duty in all conscience, government also has equal responsibility to act and be fair on the matter. Shiv Sena’s ministers have clearly crossed the line today. What had happened inside Lok Sabha is both appalling and shameful.

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