TDP MP creates ruckus at Vizag airport;banned by IndiGo,others

Diwakar Reddy is a Lok Saha MP from Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur constituency

JC Diwakar Reddy, the Telugu Desam Party lawmaker who created a ruckus at the Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday after being denied a boarding pass for arriving late by IndiGo, refused to apologise for his behaviour. He faced a ban on flying that was subsequently relaxed.

MP on Thursday created ruckus at Vizag airport after he was declined boarding on the flight for reaching the check-in counter late.

In a rage, he had allegedly barged into the Air India office and damaged the furniture. Reddy, who represents Anantapura Lok Sabha seat in Andhra Pradesh, reported at 7.41 am for an Indigo flight that was to take off at 8.05.

Angry at being denied boarding, Reddy reached across a counter of IndiGo Airlines and pushed a ticket printer which fell down and got damaged. As per norms laid out by the aviation regulator, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure. The staff courteously informed the TDP leader and also offered to accommodate him in the subsequent flight. The Visakhapatnam airport director, when contacted by Media, said the incident was a matter between IndiGo Airline staffers and the lawmaker.

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The airline maintained that any untoward conduct which compromises the safety and security of passengers and staff is a serious concern. "Perhaps the flight was overbooked", The Times of India quoted the minister saying.

What makes it more controversial is the presence of Union aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in the same VVIP lounge where this incident happened.

Earlier this year, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was temporarily banned by airlines from flying after he assaulted an Air India staffer, triggering a major controversy. "Safety and security of our colleagues and customers is our highest priority", according to India Today. This came hours after the TDP MP was said to have hurled abuse at IndiGo staff because he arrived late at the Visakhapatnam airport for a flight, and employees had said he was too late to get on the aircraft. The government is expected to finalise these rules shortly.

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