Opposition parties in Punjab are targeting the chief minister once again, seeking an inquiry into an alleged incident of deplaning of Bhagwant Mann at the Frankfurt airport in an “inebriated” condition, a claim that has been strongly denied by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Partap Singh Bajwa wrote a letter to union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, seeking an inquiry into the matter. “We have come to know through social media that the Chief Minister was offloaded from a Lufthansa airlines flight since he was found to be in inebriated state and declared unfit to travel. If it’s true it is a bad reflection on the office Mr Bhagwant Mann is holding. Therefore, we request a probe into the incident,” Bajwa wrote in his letter.
Earlier, Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal also sought an inquiry.
Disturbing media reports quoting co-passengers say Pb CM @BhagwantMann was deplaned from Lufthansa flight as he was too drunk to walk. And it led to a 4-hour flight delay. He missed AAP’s national convention. These reports have embarrassed & shamed Punjabis all over the globe.1/2 pic.twitter.com/QxFN44IFAE
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) September 19, 2022
Lufthansa has tweeted its version of the episode, with no mention of the chief minister allegedly being deplaned.
Our flight from Frankfurt to Delhi departed later than originally planned due to a delayed inbound flight and an aircraft change.
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) September 19, 2022
While the state government has not commented on the issue, AAP has trashed the claims. “The dirty tricks department of our political opponents are spreading these canards, to defame our CM. They cannot digest that CM Mann is working hard to get investment in Punjab. The CM is returning as per schedule. He was to land here on Sunday night and he has already landed in Delhi,” said party chief spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang.
The chief minister, without alluding to the matter, in a statement announced the holding of a special assembly session on September 22, to prove his government’s majority in the House. This is being done in wake of the roll-out of “Operation Lotus” by the BJP, said CM Mann. The opposition was quick to respond to the announcement, claiming that this was an attempt to divert public attention from the alleged deplaning incident.
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