MP-businessman threatens privilege motion against pilot

April 8th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by admin  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, April 8 (IANS) Indian MP and prominent Dubai-based businessman P.V. Abdul Wahab is set to move a privilege motion in parliament against a pilot of state carrier Air India who forced him to disembark from a plane in Kozhikode. The Rajya Sabha MP said he was forced to get off the Kozhikode-Kochi flight while he was en route to Dubai Monday morning after an argument with the flight captain Rajat Rana.

“I will take up the matter with my chairman (of Rajya Sabha) and move a privilege motion against the pilot,” Wahab told IANS here Tuesday.

According to him, he had reached well on time to catch the flight that was running 20 minutes late from Bahrain, but was delayed while being taken from the VIP lounge at the airport to the aircraft.

“I was at the airport by 7.55 a.m. for the flight which was scheduled to leave Kozhikode at 8.55 a.m. The flight, which was coming from Bahrain, was itself delayed by around 20 minutes.

“By the time I was taken (from the VIP lounge) to the aircraft, it was a little late. The captain, Rajat Rana, got into an argument with the duty manager who was accompanying me,” he said.

Wahab said that when he tried to intervene the pilot said it was none of his business, and insisted he would not take off if the parliamentarian was on board.

Subsequently, Wahab was offloaded and put on another Air India flight from Kozhikode to Dubai.

“I think the pilot was trying to make up the 20-minute delay (from Bahrain) which was why this incident happened,” he said.

Air India’s Kozhikode airport manager Srinivasan Rajachandrasekhar said the airlines would launch an inquiry into the incident.

“There was a discussion between the pilot and the member of parliament over the delay of the flight. Following this, the MP disembarked from the aircraft on his own. We will conduct an inquiry into the incident,” Rajachandrasekhar told IANS.

When asked whether the pilot had wanted Wahab to deplane, he said neither the pilot nor any other airline official had asked him to do so.

Elected to the Rajya Sabha on an Indian Union Muslim League ticket in 2004, Wahab is one of the richest and most well known NRI entrepreneurs in the Gulf with interests ranging from real estate to shipping to hospitality.

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