Praful Patel seeks probe

Heavy Industry Minister Praful Patel has asked the Civil Aviation Ministry on Tuesday for an immediate probe to ascertain facts on allegations that an Air India flight was changed into a larger one to accommodate his family when he was the Civil Aviation Minister.

“I would be very obliged if you take this up at the earliest so as to clear the doubts and wrong impression which have emanated out of the RTI query and sensationalised media reports,” the Union Minister said in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.

Referring to news reports on the issue, Patel said he was “personally embarrassed and pained” about the impression that was sought to be created that the passengers (his relatives and others) travelled either on free tickets or were upgraded to business class, whereas they were actually fully paid business class passengers.

He also took exception to “impressions” that the change was made at his behest and clarified that neither Air India nor any private airline had changed the aircraft type before due to overbooking or for other commercial reasons.

“…immediately order an enquiry and ascertain all the facts or probe the matter in any way you deem appropriate,” Patel urged Singh.

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