PM Narendra Modi calls Rahul Gandhi to enquire about his mid-air scare

27 April 2018, 08:06 PM
PM Narendra Modi calls Rahul Gandhi to enquire about his mid-air scare (Photo Source: PTI)
PM Narendra Modi calls Rahul Gandhi to enquire about his mid-air scare (Photo Source: PTI)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Karnataka as part of the last leg of his campaigning for the state assembly elections, received call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

Modi dialled Gandhi after a Karnataka bound chartered plane carrying the Congress chief developed some technical snags mid-air on Thursday. Rahul was on his way to Karnataka's Hubli.

According to reports, Modi was the first person to call Gandhi and enquired about the incident. Currently, Modi is in China for a two-day informal summit in Wuhan. Earlier on Friday, PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged views on solidifying the India-China relationship.

"It was a private conversation between the two (over phone). All the authorities concerned were informed about the plane developing snag. After that, the prime minister rang up Gandhi enquiring if he was fine," PTI quoted a Congress party source.

"The flight took off at around 9:20 am from Delhi. At around 10:45 am, the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body," according to the complaint filed by Kaushal Vidyarthee, a key member of Rahul Gandhi’s team.

Vidyarthee also tweeted later about the incident, saying the Congress chief had maintained his composure and even tried to calm the co-passengers down.

"Glad to be in a room and getting some rest....thankful for being alive...never had such a frightening experience in my life...plane went into free fall...couldnt believe CP's composure and calmness as he stood beside pilots trying to save the situation," Vidyarthee wrote on Twitter.

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"Never thought we would make it through what happened in the aircraft today...cant believe how brave RG is...being a pilot himself he was constantly by the side of the crew through the crisis. Respect!," he said in another tweet.

Congress filed another complaint with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking a detailed investigation into the matter.

"The operator has reported the incident to us. According to the report, it was a snag in the auto-pilot mode. The pilot shifted to the manual (mode) and (the aircraft) landed safely," a senior DGCA official was quoted.

"Shutdown of the auto-pilot (mode) is not uncommon. For a VIP flight, the DGCA examines it thoroughly. We shall do that in this case as well," he added.

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A two-member team has already been set up to investigate the matter.

Congress's communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala described the failure of the auto-pilot mode in the aircraft as "horrific" and "serious" and demanded a probe to find out if there was any "foul play".

First Published: Friday, April 27, 2018 06:30 PM
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