It has been reported that the flight from Leh to Delhi got delayed by one hour and three passengers were offloaded just to accommodate the minister and his PA.
According to sources, the aircraft doors were shut for takeoff on June 24 but the flight did not depart at its scheduled time as Rijuju, along with his PA, had to be onboard.
When he arrived, three passengers were allegedly deboarded to accommodate the minister and his PA, sources said.
While an Air India spokesman said it has sought more details on the incident, Rijuju claimed it was not a "delay" as the departure of the flight was "preponed" due to technical reasons.
"The departure was at 1140 hrs...I don't know...somehow there was a rescheduling issue...It was not a delay..it was a communication gap," Rijiju said.
Meanwhile, micro-blogging site Twitter has been flooded with comments on Air India and Rijiju.
Here are a few tweets on the minister and the airline:
"Air India" should have a new Orwellian slogan-All are equal but some are more equal than others.— udayan mitter (@udayan_mitter) July 2, 2015
My friend was on that Air India leh flight famous for the Deputy Chief minister incident. The way pax handled the VIP is hilarious😂— HK (@harSHIThappens) July 2, 2015
Shameful if 3 passengers were made to deboard Air India flight to accommodate Minister Rijiju then it is completely wrong and unacceptable.— Sachin Kaushik (@sachinkshk08) July 2, 2015
MoS Home Kiran Rijiju @abpnewstv on Air India Row- Was unaware that passengers wr off loaded for me, it's unfortunate, I don't support this— Ashish ABP News (@Ashishjourno) July 2, 2015
Disappointed after hearing d news dat common citizens r deboarded from air india flight just because of buroecrats. Shame.— iamcover (@mayurkawar) July 2, 2015