Controversy has broken out on whether Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was deplaned from a Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight in Frankfurt because he was not found fit to travel.
The Lufthansa website shows that the flight from Frankfurt was scheduled to depart at 1.40 PM (GMT+2) on Saturday and land in Delhi at 12.55 AM IST (GMT+5.30). However, the flight departed from Frankfurt at 5.52 PM (GMT+2) and landed in Delhi at 4.30 AM IST (GMT+5.30) today.
Chander Suta Dogra, director of media communications of AAP told India Narrative that, “The Chief Minister was a little unwell and would catch a flight from Frankfurt tonight to return back home,” and added that Mann at present is addressing an AAP conclave of all the party’s elected representatives being held in Delhi via video conferencing.
She said all the national TV channels were showing him participating in the sammelan.
However, an Indian co-passenger on the same flight, , who did not wish to be named, alleged in a communication with indianarrative.com that “the Chief Minister was not steady on his feet as he had imbibed excessive alcohol and had to be supported by his wife and security personnel accompanying him.”
The passenger said the departure of the flight was delayed by over 4 hours as the luggage of the CM’s entourage which was loaded on the plane had to be taken off. Punjab government officials tried to prevail upon the Lufthansa flight crew not to deplane Mann as he had to attend many important meetings fixed on the next day but they refused to compromise on their flight safety rules, he added.
In response, Malwinder Singh Kang, AAP spokesman in Chandigarh when contacted dismissed the information about Mann having been deplaned since he was drunk as “bakwaas.” People keep saying so many “rubbish things”, he stressed and added that the CM would return in the next two or three days.
Navneet Wadhwa, media in charge of the CM’s office said, “Mann Sahib will board a flight today evening from Frankfurt around 4.30 PM (GMT+2) and land in Delhi tonight at around 1 AM (GMT+5.30),” adding that as per the schedule available with him the CM was to remain in Germany till September 18.
When questioned Wadhwa said he would send the schedule but admitted that it did not mention any timings of the CM’s departure.
Till the filing of this report, Wadhwa did not send the schedule.
Mann had gone to Germany on September 11 and was to return on September 18. He visited Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin and sought investments in Punjab. He attended the world’s leading trade fair, DRINKTEC 2022. He was accompanied by his wife and other senior officials besides security personnel.