KL NEWS NETWORK
In a clear case of VIP culture driven by power frenzy, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has reportedly delayed an Air India flight from Leh to Delhi by an hour while making three passengers to deboard for accommodating him.
Rijiju had gone to Jammu and Kashmir to attend Sindhu Darshan function and was supposed to return in a helicopter, sources said. But due inclement weather helicopter could not come from Srinagar to take the Union Minister from Leh after which Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh asked Rijiju to accompany him in Air India flight AI 446, they added.
“When we reached the Leh airport at 10.20, we found that the door of the aircraft was closed and it was about to take off. Then the Deputy Chief Minister lodged a strong protest with the Civil Aviation Minister for the unannounced rescheduling of the aircraft,” Rijiju wrote on his Facebook. He said that after sometime, he and Singh were allowed to board the plane “and we could fly,” he added.
On June 24, Air India 446 was to operate the last leg of its Delhi-Leh-Srinagar-Leh-Delhi flight. Since the Leh runway is closed for repairs at 10.35am these days, the flight timing out of Delhi was advanced to ensure that it would leave Leh before the runway was closed.
“The flight reached Leh at 9.40am on June 24. It was expected that boarding of Delhi-bound passengers would begin at the earliest so that it could leave in time.
“However, first the police did not allow boarding to commence. They told Air India that it would have to wait for some VVIPs,” media reported.
Later, the state police allowed boarding. Once everyone boarded the aircraft, reports said, the VVIPs reached the airport.
“Four passengers seated in the economy section — an army officer, the IAF officer and his family was taken off the aircraft. The three VVIPs took their place in the economy section. The army officer was allowed to get back on the plane,” they added.
While speaking over the controversy, Rijiju accused Air India of misleading people and blaming him needlessly.