Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was on a trip to Germany to discuss strategic tie-ups and investment in the state, rescheduled his return journey from Frankfurt.
Mr. Mann took another flight to return to Delhi on Sunday, prompting speculation.
Mr. Mann’s political opponents alleged that Mann was deplaned at Frankfurt airport on Saturday night because he was in an inebriated state, a claim his party has reportedly denied as ‘false and frivolous.’
According to official sources who spoke to The Hindu, the Punjab Chief Minister was reportedly unwell and had to delay his departure as a result.
The India Consulate in Germany reportedly informed the cab company that dropped Mr. Mann at the airport to pick him up again from the airport, as he is said to have not boarded the airplane.
‘Disturbing media reports quoting co-passengers say Pb CM @BhagwantMann was deplaned from Lufthansa flight as he was too drunk to walk. And it led to a 4-hour flight delay. He missed AAP’s national convention. These reports have embarrassed & shamed Punjabis all over the globe,’ Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Sing Badal said in a tweet.
Mr. Badal added ‘@ArvindKejriwal needs to come clean on this issue. Govt of India must step in as this involves Punjabi & national pride. If he was deplaned, GoI must raise the issue with its German counterpart.’
Mr. Mann’s flight was scheduled to depart at 1.40 p.m. local time in Frankfurt.
The flight took off at 4.30 p.m, due to delays and landed in Delhi at 4.40 a.m. IST.
‘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,’ a Lufthansa spokesperson said, according to the Hindu report.
The Punjab government had earlier issued a release statement about Mr. Manns’ visit to Germany to attract investments and pushing forward Punjab as a conducive destination for companies to expand their growth.
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