MUMBAI: Dispelling reports that Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad had been barred from flying after he assaulted a a 60-year-old Air India staffer, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has asserted that they do not have the power to ban anyone, adding that Air India was not part of the FIA in the first place.
“We have not banned the MP. We do not have powers to ban anyone. In any case, Air India is not part of the FIA. The body represents IndiGo, Go Air, SpiceJet and Jet Airways,” FIA Association Director, Ujjwal Dey told ANI.
Earlier, the Centre also took cognisance of the incident and assured a thorough probe into the matter.
Meanwhile, a day after two FIRs were registered against him for hitting a 60-year-old Air India staffer with his slipper and for forcibly holding the flight and delaying it for 40 minutes, Gaikwad today remained unapologetic about the incident and dared the Delhi Police to arrest him.
"I will not apologise. It was not my fault, it was his fault. He should apologise. First ask him to apologise then we will see," Gaikwad told the media here.
"Let the Delhi Police arrest me. Uddhav ji will decide the course of action," he added.
The MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra also downplayed reports suggesting that Air India is considering banning him from boarding its flights.
"I have the tickets, they can't blacklist me. I will board the Delhi-Pune Air India flight this evening. How can they not allow me?" he said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has sought a report to determine the facts before he decides on what happens next for Gaikwad.
The Shiv Sena yesterday said that it does not tolerate violence.
Gaikwad was travelling from Pune to New Delhi when scuffle broke out over the sitting arrangement.
The MP claimed that his ticket was for business class but Air India provided him economy class.