New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Union minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday refused to accede to a parliamentarian’s demand for priority for MPs at airports by terming it “impractical” and saying they are not “super citizens”.
The minister’s reaction in the Lok Sabha came after Dr. Yashwant Singh, who represents Nagina constituency in Uttar Pradesh, sought some priority for parliamentarians while travelling by air.
“While travelling to airports, we don’t have any assistant there. We do have luggages also. The airport ground staff don’t cooperate even when we show our identity cards. So, some priority be given to MPs and such facility provided,” Singh told the civil aviation minister during question hour.
Raju said: “In most airports, MPs are chairmen of local airport committee and they are recognisable people there. They are treated with respect but they are not super citizens.”
“To keep the respect of MPs, we will do everything which is practically possible,” he assured.
The minister also refused to provide upgradation facility in Air India for senior citizens or physically challenged or seriously ill people, saying upgradation is basically done on commercial considerations.
“From October 2014 till 2015, about 22,261 upgradations were done and Rs.46 crore in revenue was realised. All airlines are doing it. No airline has a scheme where they will be very liberal to the effect of not being commercial in such cases. Humanitarian angle of transportation is there, but there is a commercial angle also,” Raju said.
Bharatiya Janata Party member Ashwini Kumar sought to know from Raju whether upgradation facility can be extended to common passengers, which is given to only special passengers or those who are recommended by bureaucrats or airport officials.