New Delhi, April 7: In yet another case of misusing VIP treatment, the Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday, April 7, courted controversy by saying, "one cannot hijack the plane with a matchbox."
While further stoking the controversy, 63-year-old Raju siad, "I carry a matchbox and lighters onboard, I am a minister, I am not frisked." [Ashok Gajapathi Raju: A scion of royal family]
He further asked, "What's wrong in carrying a matchbox in plane? How can it pose a threat?"
"I have lost so many lighters and matchboxes but I am yet to come to an incident worldwide where matchboxes can cause threat", he said.
"I am a heavy smoker, so my matchboxes came along with me which earlier used to get confiscated. Once I became a Minister of civil aviation, people stopped frisking me", Raju said. [Civil Aviation minister cracks down on nepotism]
After coming out of the press conference, Raju defended his comments by saying, "I am able to carry matchbox as I am not patted down by security agencies on airport."
He further told media-persons, "Now, you will make an issue out of it."
Here's how Twitterati reacted to Raju's remarks:
#MatchboxSelfGoal aviation minister should know that carrying matchbox & liquor in the flight can sabotage the plane. PM will promote him— abraham vimalan (@abraham_vimalan) April 7, 2015
I haven't thought if we can carry a match box? even if it is not in the don't list, no senisble person will carry this #MatchboxSelfGoal— Babu #IStandWithMMS (@mpadhiary) April 7, 2015
In India Few politicians seriously need a class of Public Speaking. Otherwise they are such a waste #MatchboxSelfGoal— Shantanu Mukherjee (@mystiquethinker) April 7, 2015
#MatchboxSelfGoal PM Pl IMMEDIATELY Sack your Aviation Minister who made those Atrocious Statement about aircraft Security. Prove 56" chest— Raj Kapur (@India_I_Want) April 7, 2015