Diwakar Reddy, TDP MP banned by domestic airlines, flies to Europe
Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy, who has been banned by all domestic airlines from flying over his alleged unruly behaviour at the Visakhapatnam airport, flew to Europe Friday night as part of his annual family vacation.
According to J.C. Prabhakar Reddy, brother of the Anantapur MP, the tour was planned well in advance. It is something the family does every year, he said. “He and his family left for vacation last night. I was also supposed to go along with them. But I could not go due to personal work. What is wrong in his foreign tour? He got his visa long ago. It was not planned yesterday,” Prabhakar, a TDP MLA from Anantapur told PTI on Saturday.
He, however, did not disclose the holiday destination as well as the airline his brother took for the overseas trip. Though the exact duration of the vacation is not exactly known, a TDP leader said it may last seven to 10 days. Following the 15 June episode, in a show of unity, all major domestic airlines have barred the MP from taking their flights—similar to action taken by the carriers after the incident involving Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad earlier this year.
On Thursday, Reddy was scheduled to fly IndiGo’s flight 6E-608, which departs from Visakhapatnam at 8.10am, to Hyderabad. But he reached just 28 minutes before the scheduled departure, according to the airline. As per norms laid out by the aviation regulator, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure.
Enraged, Reddy got into a verbal spat with the ground staff and threw a printer kept at the airline’s counter after he was informed that boarding for his flight had closed. Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who also belongs to the same party, has said that he would get the entire incident “enquired into” and will ensure “lawful outcomes” follow. Prior to this incident, Reddy had allegedly vandalised the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada last year after he missed his flight.