What is it about airports that gets our VIPs all riled up and wanting to show and prove their status when travelling by air. While things really came out in the open when a Shiv Sena MP, Ravindra Gaikwad, was found to have physically assaulted a member of an airline with a slipper, which led to him being barred by all such companies from travelling with them.
This eventually led to the government to bring in fresh rules to deal with unruly passengers. It was thought that such rules would help make those in power behave a bit more like the common man and follow the rules laid down.
Such hopes seem to have been misplaced as a fresh case of Member of Parliament throwing tantrums at an airport have come to light. According to reports, Priyanka Singh Rawat, a BJP MP, on Friday, insisted on carrying her "unfolded knife" with her on a flight that she was taking from the Indira Gandhi International Airport's Terminal 3 in New Delhi. This led to a long argument which was finally resolved after she agreed to place it in the 'hold area' of the Air India aircraft.
DG of CISF, O P Singh, confirmed the incident as he is reported to have said, "Our security personnel detected an unfolded knife in her hand baggage and firmly informed her about the rules. But she refused to remove it and we had to call the Air India duty manager to convince her."
The MP from Barabanki is reported to have denied the such an incident and has claimed that she had followed all the rules. "It was not a knife, they detected a keyring in my hand baggage," she is reported to have said.
According to reports in a national daily, she was taking a flight to Lucknow."The flight was scheduled for 7.10 am. Around 6.15 am, at security checking, security personnel detected an unfolded knife when her hand baggage was put inside the X-ray machine. The personnel informed her that carrying the item is prohibited, citing civil aviation ministry rules," sources have reportedly told the Indian Express. And they added, "She told the personnel that it was her son's knife and that she is an MP. She got into an argument with CISF officers, who then called senior officers to try and convince her."
Such an argument led to the security officials to call the duty manager of the airline who told Rawat about the rules and tried to convince her. She even reportedly refused the options suggested to her by the security officials such as calling someone and handing over the knife to them or putting the article in her checked-in luggage, while also threatening officials of registering a FIR against them.
She wanted the flight crew to carry the item for her but when told that this was too against the rules, she finally relented and agreed to place it in the 'hold area' of the aircraft where arms and ammunition are stored in the custody of Air India's flight crew.