Free of ‘flying ban’, Gaikwad meets Thackeray

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Free of ‘flying ban’, Gaikwad meets Thackeray

Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) A day after Air India lifted its ban, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad reached Mumbai by train and called on party President Uddhav Thackeray.

Thackeray welcomed Gaikwad warmly at Shiv Sena Bhavan after the Osmanabad Lok Sabha member reached Mumbai by Rajdhani Express. But what transpired at their meeting was not known.

As the two met, all private airlines too lifted their unprecedented fortnight long flying ban on Gaikwad after the March 23 fracas on a Pune-Delhi Air India flight.

The issue snowballed into a major controversy between the two NDA allies — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena — and rocked Parliament.

While Air India demanded an apology from the MP, Gaikwad stuck to his ground and said he was prepared to apologize only to Parliament. The Sena stood solidly behind him.

He reiterated he was not at fault and alleged that the Air India official he allegedly assaulted was “mad” and had at least half a dozen complaints of rowdy behaviour against him in the company.

Gaikwad also claimed that seven times tickets were booked in his name but he was unaware who did it.

Gaikwad is likely to resume flying from next week.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.