Then and now: How Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad changed his stand in Lok Sabha today
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who allegedly assaulted an Air India employee last month, today attended the Lok Sabha proceedings for the first time after the incident on March 23.
The MP from Maharashtra’s Osamanabad offered an apology in the Lok Sabha but categorically said that I was directed to the Parliament and not to the Air India official “whose misbehaviour triggered the entire incident”.
Gaikwad compared himself with the ‘Father of the Nation’ saying airlines barring him from boarding flights was similar to the incident when Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of train in South Africa.
For all the righteousness the unrepentant Sena MP may be trying to preach, his statement today stand in contradiction with the remarks that he had made since the incident, including the comment when he boastfully said “I hit him with a sandal 25 times.”
Here are five things Gaikwad said today which was different from stand that he had taken so far:
Gaikwad had refused to apologise for the incident. In Parliament today though, the MP tendered an apology albeit with a rider that it was an apology to Parliament not the Air India staffer whom he had assaulted.
“I apologise to the Parliament if my behaviour as an MP has hurt the respect of the House.I apologise to the House, not to the AI staff,” Gaikwad said.
Chain of events:
Until today, Gaikwad had not said anything about being manhandled by the Air India staff.
Today in Parliament, he said, “He (Air India staffer) grabbed me by collar after which I pushed him.”
Air India hostess’ defence:
Gaikwad also claimed that an Air India hostess, who was present during the entire incident, later said that the Air India official’s misconduct triggered the entire incident.
However, the air hostess had only said that a miscommunication led to the incident and duty manager Sukumar was honest to his job.
Here is what the unidentified air hostess told ANI on March 26:
“He (duty manager) was pretty much honest to his job but somewhere something went wrong in his communication and probably, the MP also took it in wrong way. The conversation led to an argument which ultimately led to physical entanglement between the two men. Whereupon the MP took out his slipper and was about to hit him and tried to take law in his hand by taking him towards the ladder."
No word on “hit him 25 times”:
Gaikwad who had bragged about the incident that he had hit the Air India official “25 times” with his slipper, did not utter any such thing in Parliament today.
In Lok Sabha today, Gaikwad stressed that he is a school teacher by training and that Vinamrata (humility) is his nature.
However, bragging about hitting someone with a slipper and threatening to throw someone out of a flight would not be considered humility by any standards.
"I slapped him...Should I hear abuses from everyone. I am from Shiv Sena not BJP. Let him complain to anyone," he had said.
Here is the statement that he had on the day of the incident.