Congress seeks minister’s apology for holding up AI flight

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday criticised the reported holding up of an Air India flight by a central minister and said the minister concerned should apologise for such “misdeeds”.

“Just because the prime minister is keeping mum, these issues are not going to be swept under the carpet. We demand that the ministers who misuse their authority and put ordinary passengers to difficulty and to great hardship should apologise openly,” senior Congress leader P.C. Chacko told media persons here.

The controversy was triggered after it came to light that three passengers were reportedly taken off a flight from Leh in order to accommodate union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and an aide last week.

On Thursday, Rijiju clarified that he was unaware that an Air India flight was allegedly delayed and three passengers made to de-board to accommodate him and an aide at the last minute.

Chacko said: “These kinds of misdeeds from the government and ministers, who come out with lame excuses are not going to be believed by the people and these ministers have to unconditionally tender apology to the people of this country.”

Giving examples of some other leaders who had kept passenger flights waiting, he said: “Power seems to have got into the head of the BJP and its leaders.”

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju regretted such episodes and assured that they would not recur.

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