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Rahul Gandhi's flight hits snag midair, DGCA says incident not 'uncommon'

28 April 2018
Rahul Gandhi's flight hits snag midair, DGCA says incident not 'uncommon'

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has sought for a comprehensive probe in the incident of Congress national president Rahul Gandhi's aircraft developing snag.

Rahul Gandhi and top leaders of the party, including the members of its Karnataka unit, released the "Nava Karnataka Manifesto" for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, on Friday. The BJP hit back at Mr Gandhi, alleging he does not respect the national song, a charge dismissed by the Congress as "absolutely false".

A singer was forced to cut short his performance on Vande Mataram as Congress President Rahul Gandhi was running on a busy schedule.

Days after he was ridiculed by the Congress over his habit of giving warm hugs to global leaders with whom he shares good relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he is a common man and not aware of laid protocols.

On a complaint filed by a close aide of Gandhi with Karnataka DGP Neelamani N Raju, an FIR was lodged under IPC sections 287 and 336, the police said.

Rahul was visiting Karnataka to campaign for the May 12 polls.

"Around 10.45 am, the aircraft titled to one side and the altitude dipped steeply combined with heavy shuddering".

"As per operator report, it was snag of autopilot mode and pilot shifted to manual mode and the aircraft landed safely".

The pilot, who has flown the Congress chief before, will be questioned, says the police chief, who has asked the aviation regulator for a report.

"Multiple unexplained technical snags during the flight coupled with the failure of the autopilot, raises serious issues of aviation safety and possible global tampering with the aircraft which endangered the life of its occupants", states the letter.

A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said DGCA is already looking into the incident and it would probe all the angles as is done with any VIP aircraft involved in such incidents. No major political party will cross the magic mark of 112 and form a government in Karnataka.