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India: Airlines And Ministers

Union Minister refutes allegations of abusing airline staff

Nov 04, 2008

New Delhi - Refuting allegations of slapping and abusing the Kingfisher Airlines staff in Patna, Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Tuesday said he would complain about the airline's "irresponsible action" to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

"The minister has strongly refuted the charges ... The minister intends to take up the matter regarding the irresponsible action of the airline with the Civil Aviation Ministry," a press release by the ministry said.

The release also claimed that the minister immediately after being stopped from boarding the flight at Patna Airport yesterday apprised the Joint Secretary (Civil Aviation) about the "unauthorised cancellation and the refusal of the manager to issue a boarding pass to him".

"The Joint Secretary also tried to reason with the duty manager, who refused to listen," the release added.

According to airport authorities, the minister allegedly assaulted and abused the station manager of the airlines Sagar Nath Das for denying him entry after the door of the flight was closed. The airline authorities claimed that the travel agency, which had booked the ticket for the minister, had got it cancelled over telephone saying the minister had changed his travel plan.

The release by the ministry, however, said, "no such instruction (for cancelling ticket)had been issued by the Minister. The duty manager was requested to issue the duty pass. The Minister was taken to VIP lounge at the airport. After a while the duty manager told that he would not be issuing the duty pass ... On being denied permission to board the aircraft, the minister left Patna by train for Kolkata."

Earlier in the morning, the minister chose to describe the allegations against him "a lie" and and an "attempt to frame" him.

Union Minister refutes allegations of abusing airline staff
Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh / Image via

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