Terming reports about him delaying an Air India flight as 'misleading', Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said he will initiate proceedings of criminal defamation after his return to India.
"I reiterate, the reports of me delaying flight are misleading. In fact when I'd already boarded, how can I say I won't travel without delegation?" Fadnavis, who is on a week-long tour of USA, posted on Twitter. "If at all any report that has been submitted states that I refused to travel without my delegation then it is a blatant lie, because passengers sitting besides & behind me are witness that I was sitting quietly waiting for departure. Not even once I asked to offload me. "Enough is enough. Once I (a)m back to India I will initiate proceedings of criminal defamation," the Chief Minister said in a series of tweets.
Devendra Fadnavis. Pic/PTI
As per the Air India, flight AI191 to Newark from Mumbai was delayed by 57 minutes partly due to technical/operational reasons, and also the ATC. The incident took place on Monday when Fadnavis was leaving on week-long visit to the US along with Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya and Principal Secretary Pravin Pardeshi.
As per the media reports, Pardeshi was cleared at the check-in, but was held back as the passport he was carrying did not have a valid US visa. He had a valid US visa on his old passport. He arranged to bring his old passport after which he was allowed to proceed to the aircraft.
Congress has targeted Fadnavis over the issue, with former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday demanding that he should apologise if he had caused the delay. In a series of meetings at San Francisco, Fadnavis held discussions with incubator promoters which included Sanjay Subhedar, founding Managing Director of Storm Ventures; venture capitalist Prakash Bhalerao, and Duncan Davidson of Bullpen Capital.
"The presence of large number of incubators is the fabric of San Francisco. The large entrepreneurial community here has further supported and developed start-up environment", the CMO official said. "India is growing very fast in terms of start-ups. In 2014 alone, over 800 new technology start-ups have begun their activity in country.
"These start-ups are useful for quality education, job creation, attracting investment, innovation and improving knowledge, he added. Addressing the Maharashtra Invest Roundtable at San Francisco, Fadnavis said the state has always been pioneer in the field of technology.
"Aurangabad, Nashik and Nagpur are attracting people from IT field. Maharashtra has highest penetration of mobile telephony, highest number of smartphones and its users are in the state," he said. The Chief Minister further said that among the highlights of the new ITES policy is the integrated IT Township with a work culture which actually opens up a huge door, not only for investment, but for the technological innovation.
"We would like to tie up with the people in Silicon Valley for starting start-ups in Maharashtra," he added. Fadnavis also discussed advance collaboration on establishment of security centre of excellence with Symantec.