New York, July 3: Two passengers travelling on the same US-bound Air India aircraft from Mumbai as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have come out in his support, saying he did not delay the flight even as he has threatened legal action once he returns to India.
An angry Fadnavis had tweeted on Thursday that he would file for defamation once he was back in the country over the controversy of his delegation delaying the Air India flight from Mumbai to New York on June 29.
"Enough is enough. Once I'm back to India I will initiate proceedings of criminal defamation," he had tweeted.
Following the tweets by the Chief Minister, two persons on the same flight took to the micro-blogging site to support him saying he did not delay the flight. "@Dev_Fadnavis I was present in the flight AI 191. CM and delegation reached in time. Flight delayed due to immigration problem," a user by the name of Dushyant tweeted.
According to his Twitter profile @dushyantkagarwa, he is an author and freelance journalist based in Udaipur. Another Twitter user Arvind Shah tweeted, "@Dev_Fadnavis I was in AI 191 and sitting behind CM in seat (8D), He neither called or try to delay flight, he was busy reading file".
Fadnavis denied that he delayed the flight
Both the tweets were retweeted by Fadnavis, who had first denied the allegation that he had forced to delay the flight to New York in a tweet on June 30. He had said the allegations were "false & misleading".
The incident took place on Monday when Fadnavis was leaving on week-long visit to the US along with Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya and Principal Secretary Pravin Pardeshi.
As per media reports, Pardeshi was cleared at the check-in, but was held back as the passport he was carrying did not have a valid US visa. He had a valid US visa on his old passport and he arranged to bring it, only after which he was allowed to proceed to the aircraft.
Congress has targeted Fadnavis over the issue, with former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan demanding that he should apologise if he had caused the delay.