Bengaluru, Jan 19 (IANS)
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai Thursday stated that BJP Lok Sabha member Tejaswi Surya has not opened the emergency exit door of an aircraft they were recently travelling in. Tejaswi Surya is being targeted by the opposition Congress in Karnataka, over the issue after reports emerged that it was the Bengaluru South MP who had allegedly pulled opened the emergency exit door of an Indigo aircraft in December 2022.
Speaking to the media in Chikkamagaluru, Annamalai stated that he was accompanying Surya in the flight when the alleged incident took place on December 2, last year. “We were travelling in an ATR-72 aircraft in which the emergency exit door is located in the front. Tejasvi Surya had placed his hand on the door as his seat did not have an arm-rest. At that point he drew my attention to some gaps in the door beading. So I informed the air hostess and she told this to the pilot,” Annamalai elaborated.
The former IPS officer who had worked as superintendent of police in Chikkamagaluru, insisted that Tejasvi Surya did not open the emergency door at all. “He did not pull the door. He was simply resting his hand on it. Surya is an educated and widely travelled person. So why will he ever pull the door. Moreover, this incident occurred while boarding was still on and so the passengers were deboarded till the door was fixed and the flight cleared for take-off.”
Annamalai attacked Congress leaders of Karnataka for raising a controversy on the issue. “They don’t have anything else to target the BJP and that’s why they’re picking it up,” he said.
The controversy broke out on Tuesday afte Indigo Airlines had released a statement that a passenger had opened the emergency door of its Chennai- Tiruchirapalli flight on December 10, 2022 leading to a two-hour delay in flight departure. While the airline did not name the passenger responsible, some passengers travelling on the same flight had confirmed that it was Tejaswi Surya.
Meanwhile Tejasvi Surya has maintained silence over the issue. When approached for his comments on Tuesday, the MP’s office told IANS that a statement would be issued soon. However no clarification has been forthcoming from the MP so far.