Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had to skip his scheduled flight from Frankfurt to Delhi at the last minute on Sunday as he allegedly disembarked due to being intoxicated.
Mann, who was on a trip to Germany from September 11 to 18, delayed his departure because he was reportedly unwell.
As seen on the Flightaware flight tracking website, the Lufthansa 760 flight from Frankfurt to Delhi was delayed by 4 hours. It was scheduled to take off from Germany at 1:40 p.m., but took off at 5:34 p.m. and landed in Delhi at 4:40 a.m, with a delay of 3:45 hours.
“The dirty tricks department of our political opponents is spreading these hoaxes to smear our CM. They cannot digest that CM Mann is working hard to get investment in Punjab. The CM returns as scheduled. He was due to land here on Sunday night and he has already landed in Delhi,” the party’s chief spokesman, Malwinder Singh Kang, told The Tribune.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has strongly denied allegations by political opponents that Mann was dropped off at Frankfurt airport because he was drunk. It has been called false and frivolous, but an eyewitness of Lufthansa’s LH 760 to Delhi from Frankfurt said: “The Chief Minister of Punjab (Bhagwant Mann) apparently landed in Frankfurt because he was drunk.”
Journalist Aman Malik shared tweets from an eyewitness who said the Punjab chief minister boarded “totally drunk” and that he couldn’t even stand up without the support of his wife and security guards.
“The Lufthansa people disembarked him saying he was intoxicated and he couldn’t fly according to the rules,” the witness said, adding that the flight was delayed because Mann and his team’s luggage had to be removed.
The Hindu report mentions an eyewitness as saying that the Frankfurt-Delhi Lufthansa flight was already delayed “three hours” due to a late arrival flight and plane change.
The witness further said that the flight was further delayed due to a heated exchange between some passengers and cabin crew.
“A person wearing a white kurta-pyjama and resembling Punjab Prime Minister Bhagwant Mann entered the plane along with other passengers… after a while, four or five of them left the plane,” report quoted the eyewitness saying.
The airline’s statement said: “Our flight from Frankfurt to Delhi departed later than originally planned due to a delayed inbound flight and an aircraft change. For data protection reasons we do not provide any information regarding individual passengers.”
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