Ashok Gajapathi Raju Refuses to Help His Own Party MP

As per norms laid out by the aviation regulator airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure

While IndiGo had finally accommodated Reddy of Telugu Desam Party, to which Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju also belongs, on the same flight on Thursday morning, later it made a decision to ban him from taking its flights. Joining the ban wagon, 6 other airlines chose to ban Mr. Reddy as well.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who was present in the VIP lounge when the MP created a ruckus, refused to be dragged into the controversy. Gaikwad was accused of violently assaulting an Air India manager in Pune after he was unable to get a business class seat on a Pune-Delhi flight. He, too, was banned from flying for a while before the ban was lifted. Interestingly, the Centre is close to finalising rules for a no-fly list for unruly passengers. DGCA has issued a safety regulation that people are expected to report 45 minutes before taking a flight but the member had not done it.

The Minister He also denied reports that he had had intervened to ensure Reddy was allowed to board the IndiGo flight, saying there was "no such intervention". It is clear from the CCTV cameras, Raju noted. "The staff politely informed him that boarding for flight is closed", it said.

With all the media exposing, along with evidences, the highhanded behaviour of Diwakar Reddy, Naidu conveyed to him that it would be better he tendered apology to the Indigo Airlines staff.

While IndiGo had finally accommodated the TDP leader, later it made a decision to ban him from taking its flights. "Safety and security of passengers, crew and the aircraft are the top priority and it can not be compromised", it added.

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A total of seven airline companies have now barred Telugu Desam Party MP JC Diwakar Reddy from flying on their planes after his violent behaviour in Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday morning.

On whether he would impose stricter rules so that such incidents do not happen in the future, Raju said, "I am not going to do any jyothisham (astrology)..."

Following the incident, IndiGo and four other airlines - Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir - barred Reddy from travelling on their aircraft, late on Thursday evening.

"Perhaps the flight was overbooked", the Minister said.

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