Gaikwad flying ban: Shiv Sena not attend NDA meet if ban continues

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New Delhi : The Shiv Sena on Thursday threatened to boycott the proposed NDA meeting next week if the airlines' ban on party MP Ravindra Gaikwad is not lifted.

Addressing a press conference in the Parliament premises, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the government had assured that an amicable solution to the controversy would be found at the earliest. 

"We respect Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh and hope he will find the solution. The ball is now in the government's court. It is their responsibility to solve it," he said. 

"If the flying ban on Gaikwad is not lifted, we will boycott the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) meeting to be held on April 10. I am saying this after discussing it with party chief Uddhav Thackeray," Raut said.

The Lok Sabha member from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, Gaikwad abused and assaulted 60-year-old duty manager R. Sukumar of Air India late last month.

He said that he beat up the official "25 times with a footwear" because he had to travel economy class though he had an open business class ticket. The flight was an all-economy one and had no business class section.

The MP was later banned by Air India from flying aboard its aircraft, following which other private airlines also refused to fly him.