Mumbai: Ravindra Gaikwad, the Shiv Sena Member of Parliament who made headlines for beating up an Air India staffer with his sandals, travelled as a silent, sullen commuter in the August Kranti Express from Delhi after many airlines refused to ply him.
Though he had a booking till Mumbai Central, got off at Vapi on Saturday. However, sloganeering at the station made the fellow commuters aware about his presence.
The attendant in the train who served the Sena leader claimed that Mr Gaikwad had no food, only asked for tea and remained silent. Sources said Mr Gaikwad alighted from the train at Vapi to escape the media attention he would attract otherwise.
One of the pantry assistants, Abhishek Singh, said that although he knew Mr Gaikwad’s identity and that they have to take care of public officials while they are travelling according to railways protocol, the MP helped himself to a few cups of tea and was mostly sullen while he sat in his corner seat.
Mr Singh said, “We are usually told by the ticket collector to make sure that when an MP or an MLA is travelling, we have to take extra care but he didn’t take the evening meal and mostly seemed to be unusually quiet in the corner of the compartment.”
An unidentified man accompanying Mr Gaikwad on the train journey was said to have suffered chest pain near Mathura and was declared fit to travel after being examined by a railway doctor. Mr Gaikwad chose to travel by train after five airlines barred him from flying....