Regional airline TruJet denied a ticket to TDP MP JC Diwakar Reddy from Hyderabad to Vijayawada. Nothing surprising as many airlines in India had banned the 'rowdy' MP. But TruJet had to apologise to Reddy as they had not banned him, and some confused employee went ahead and refused a ticket to him.
Diwakar Reddy was in the news last month, after he created a huge ruckus at the Visakhapatnam airport, after he was denied a boarding pass by IndiGo airlines, for turning up late.
Quoting sources, PTI reported that TruJet clarified that it had not banned Reddy, and initiated action against its staff, who denied the ticket.
"A secretary of the MP had approached TruJet for ticket to travel to Vijayawada this morning. As there was a ban imposed by some airlines, the staff had denied ticket to Reddy. However, when the issue came to the notice of the senior management, they offered apologies to the MP," a source at the airport told PTI.
The MP was termed as 'Goon Reddy' by many channels for assaulting staff and throwing a printer.
Following his violent behaviour, IndiGo barred the 73-year-old businessman-politician from using its flights. Other domestic airlines including Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia and Vistara also followed suit.
However, speaking to the news agency, Reddy downplayed the incident, and said that he would not pursue the matter, as the airline had apologised to him.
Last month, two videos from CCTV cameras had surfaced. While one showed Reddy shouting at airline officials and trying to throw a printer on the floor, the other showed him pushing a senior airline official.
Last week, in a sting operation, Republic TV traced Reddy to his home town in Tadipatri in Andhra, he admitted to creating the ruckus.
"I was a little emotional. Actually, I wanted to throw that printer. I could not do it. Slowly and gently, I put it on the table...I did not do any damage," he said.
When asked about the footage that showed him pushing the official, Reddy said, "It is true. It happened. Even after I requested him 2 to 3 times, he could not come out, as he was issuing tickets. Then I told the gentleman, that issuing boarding pass is in your hands. It is not controlled by your head office."
However, the man refused even after that, Reddy claimed.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju was present at the airport during the incident, but denied helping the MP. He clarified that he had only asked the airport director to look into the matter by examining the CCTV footage.
Besides the flying ban by certain airlines, no action has been taken against Reddy.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had also expressed unhappiness at the parliamentarian's behaviour, and had appealed to public leaders to exercise restraint.