Congress leader Pawan Khera Thursday was arrested by the Assam police at the Delhi airport over an alleged insult to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a press conference he had held earlier.
The Congress Spokesperson was taken off an IndiGo flight to Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur while he, along with several other Congress leaders, was on his way to attend a meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
High voltage drama at Delhi airport
Soon after his arrest, nearly 50 leaders launched an unprecedented protest on the tarmac beside the airplane, refusing to let the flight take off.
While being whisked away by the Assam police, Khera told media, "We will see (in which case they are taking me). It's a long battle and I'm ready to fight,"
The Congress party also approached the Supreme Court against the arrest and managed to obtain an interim bail for Khera.
What was Khera’s comment that allegedly insulted PM Modi?
The FIR filed against Khera by a BJP leader is based on a recent press conference where Khera fumbled PM Modi’s name while demanding a joint parliamentary probe into the alleged manipulation of stocks by the Adani Group.
During the press conference, as reported by NDTV, Khera said, "If Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem does Narendra Gautam Das...sorry Damodardas...Modi have?"
The BJP strongly criticised Khera’s comment and said that his remarks was not unintentional. In a tweet on February 20, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that Khera's remarks on PM's father have blessing of the top levels of Congress.
"Make no mistake- pathetic remarks by courtier Pawan Khera on PM’s father have blessings of the top levels of Congress, which is full of entitlement and disdain against a person of humble origins being PM. India will not forget or forgive these horrible remarks of Congressmen," he tweeted.
The BJP had been since then demanding his arrest. But little did they know that this would happen today.
Criticising the move by the Assam police, Congress leader KC Venugopal alleged that this has been done to silence Khera.
In a tweet on Thursday afternoon he said, “ Modi govt is acting like a bunch of goons by deplaning @Pawankhera ji from the Delhi-Raipur flight and preventing him from joining the AICC Plenary. Using a flimsy FIR to restrict his movement & silence him is a shameful, unacceptable act. The entire party stands with Pawan ji.”
IndiGo said in a statement: "A passenger was deplaned by the police at the Delhi airport from Raipur-bound flight 6E 204. Some other passengers have also decided to deboard on their own accord. We are following the advice of the concerned authorities. The flight is delayed as of now..."
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