Gaikwad supporters protest, shut down Osmanabad

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Osmanabad (Maharashtra), March 27 (IANS) Even as the Shiv Sena stood by its MP Ravindra Gaikwad, his supporters on Monday shut down Osmanabad district demanding action against Air India and other airlines for banning him from flying.

Hundreds of activists created road blocks, took out protest marches and raised slogans against Air India and shut down all shops and establishments in towns like Osmanabad, Omerga and Lohara as well as nearby villages.

Sena activists demanded to know how the MP could be banned from flying and sought action against Air India for its alleged poor services to customers.

While Gaikwad has lodged complaints with the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Civil Aviation Minister, the Shiv Sena raised the matter strongly in Parliament and demanded that the flying ban imposed on him by Air India and other airlines should be lifted.

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Meanwhile, Sena sources said that contrary to speculation, Gaikwad was not in hiding but was advised to keep a low profile till the entire issue cools down.

“He has not been summoned to meet any party leader as reported in the media. He is reaching his hometown to celebrate Gudi Padva (New Year) with his family. He is expected to resume attending Parliament on Wednesday,” said the official declining to be quoted.

Last week, Gaikwad reportedly reached Vapi town in south Gujarat by train and has remained incommunicado with the media in Maharashtra.

The Sena MP has admitted to repeatedly beating an Air India official with his slipper in New Delhi. Air India and all private airlines then announced that they cannot fly him any more.

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