Controversies not new to Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

Controversies not new to Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

Past imperfect: He tried to force-feed a Muslim during Ramzan

Controversies not new to Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

For Ravindra Gaikwad, a Shiv Sena MP, being in public glare because of controversies is nothing new. He is now in the eye of the storm for bashing up an Air India employee.

The 56-year-old is popularly known as Ravi Sir in Osmanabad, his home district in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

On Thursday, Gaikwad beat up a 60-year-old Air India staffer after a Pune-Delhi flight landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, as he was given an economy class seat in a flight that did not have business class.

He is on the firing line on the social media and major Indian airliners have decided not to allow him on flights by putting the lawmaker on a no-fly list.

In 2014, his name cropped up when a group of 11 Shiv Sena MPs attempted to force-feed a Muslim catering worker during the month of Ramzan at the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. The MPs were unhappy with the quality of food.

A few days ago, Gaikwad was in the news for scolding a deputy superintendent of police.

The Solapur-born Shiv Sainik completed his BCom and MCom from the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. He also holds a BEd. His Lok Sabha records show his profession as an agriculturist and a professor.

His special interests are “helping the poor, promoting social integration, wholehearted participation in matters of national interest and raising voice against injustice”.

Before getting elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from Osmanabad in 2014, he had served as an MLA twice from 1995-1999 and 2004-2009. In the parliamentary elections, he had defeated Dr Padmasinh Patil, a Marathwada strongman and a close confidante of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.

Gaikwad is a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Consultative Committee on Ministry of Textiles. He is also a member of the  Joint Committee on Security in Parliament House Complex.

“He is quite popular among the people and has won the Lok Sabha elections once and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections twice. As an MLA, his performance has been good...he had given some excellent speeches on the issues concerning farmers,” a veteran political observer said.

“He had worked with the people to tide over the drought and power crisis,” a senior leader said.

MPs can fly 34 times a year for free
Parliamentarians are entitled to 34 single journey air tickets annually in addition to air travel they undertake to attend Parliament session and committee meetings, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

Air India has a booking office on the third floor of Parliament House, which is used by the lawmakers to buy their tickets for the national carrier. The airliner issues coupons to parliamentarians. They can also choose to travel by private airliners for which bookings are done through executive managers. “There are some private airliners who refuse to give preferential treatment to parliamentarians or even Union ministers. But not many make a fuss out of it,” said an assistant private secretary of a Union minister.


No MP allowed to misbehave: Speaker
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday said suo motu action cannot be initiated against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Mahajan for assaulting an airline staffer even as fellow parliamentarians disapproved of his behaviour, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

The Speaker voiced disapproval over Gaikwad's behaviour, saying “No MP is allowed to misbehave with anyone. No one is allowed to misbehave with anyone, even if he is an MP, a common man or any official. As a mother, I teach children not to misbehave with people,” Mahajan said.

Asked whether any action could be taken against the member, Mahajan said she “cannot take suo motu action as the incident had taken place outside Parliament”.

“I have not seen any complaint in the case till now. Let me see and study first, then I can say anything over it,” she said. Gaikwad, who had admitted to assaulting an Air India staffer “25 times” with a slipper on Thursday, remained unrepentant saying there was nothing to apologise for in the matter.

“The Air India manager should apologise... a 60-year-old man should know how to behave,” he said, adding he was not bothered about the fallout of the matter and watched a Hindi movie last night to “relax”.

“Police can arrest me. My party, (Shiv Sena chief) Uddhav (Thackeray) saheb will take care of it,” he added.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the "unfortunate" incident "should never have happened".

Senior Janata Dal (United) MP Sharad Yadav told DH that he condemned the incident in “strongest possible words” and such behaviour brings shame to Parliament. “Strong action should be taken against him,” he said.

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