New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 : Asserting that all MPs need to attend Parliament diligently and cannot always travel by train, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan today called for resolving the issue of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad's 'flying ban' by several airlines through amicable talks.
"MPs need to attend Parliament and they cannot travel by train always. At times, they need to travel by plane also. I feel that this issue (blanket ban) should be resolved amicably through talks," said Mahajan after a meeting attended by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Sena MPs.
Mahajan further stated that she is no one to give judgement but is just trying to solve the issue. "I am playing the role of 'tai' (elder sister). As of now, everybody is angry. It is time to calm down and resolve the issue. How the ban could be lifted needs to be discussed and resolved amicably," said Mahajan. Resonating similar views Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, slammed the airlines stating that it is one's fundamental right to travel by air.
"All airlines have come together banning him (Gaikwad), but it is our fundamental right (to travel by air).
So far, they have not given notice of a privilege motion. Such a notice can be given by any member of either House of a state legislature or Parliament against anyone who is accused of breach of privilege," said Sawant a meeting attended by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Sena MPs.
Sawant further said that this privilege provides certain rights and immunities to MPs, MLAs and MLCs. Earlier in the day, the Shiv Sena had given a shutdown call in Maharashtra's Osmanabad in support of Gaikwad, who had assaulted an Air India staffer last week.
Air India and six private airlines banned the 56-year-old MP from flying as he refused to apologise for the incident that triggered nationwide outrage.
The Osmanabad MP after being blacklisted by the top airlines boarded a train to Mumbai earlier on Friday evening.
The MP refrained from commenting further on the row and said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would speak on the matter.
Earlier, the MP, while showing no regret for his action had said, "What is there to repent? I will not apologise.
He (Sukumar) should come and apologise.then we will see.".