Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who hit an Air India senior employee with his slipper now has a body double. He uses the lookalike to deflect attention and nasty stares.
Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad, who created a ruckus on board an Air India flight by beating an employee of the national carrier with a slipper, is back in the news. No, he did not create another ruckus on board a flight or beat anyone with slipper. He now has a body double in order to deflect attention.
Ever since he was in the news for behaving like a rowdy, Gaikwad is being viewed with contempt by many. Wherever he goes, people look at him with disdain and view him as a rowdy. To avoid nasty stares, he has roped in one Ratnakar Sagar who has striking resemblance to the Member of Parliament.
Gaikwad is now accompanied all the times by his shadow. He makes Sagar dress up in pyjama kurta while the MP roams about in a casual T-shirt and baggy pants when not in Parliament.
Mumbai Mirror caught up with Gaikwad on Thursday night at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, where he and Sagar were waiting to board a train to Latur.
A few curious people asked the real Ravindra Gaikwad if he was the MP. But the Sena leader cleverly directed the people to Sagar saying “That’s my boss Ravisaheb Gaikwad.” The real Gaikwad said he was “saheb’s secretary” (Sagar’s secretary).
But Gaikwad disagrees that he took to this route to avoid nasty stares of people. “After the Air India incident and the media trial that I was subjected to, many people have started recognising me, and they request for selfies. I don’t like to turn them away but at the same time it gets time-consuming, so I chose my party worker Ratnakant Sagar, who has been working with me for a long time, to pose as me. As you can see, there is a resemblance, and I gave him my kurta pyjamas to make it appear that he is indeed Gaikwad the MP,” Gaikwad said.
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When Mumbai Mirror correspondent asked him if the truth has been ever found out, he said: “The way I am dressed, even the people from my town will not be able to recognise me. Nobody associates such casual clothes with me.”
During one of his train journeys a few weeks ago, the ticket checkers wanted a selfie, and it was Sagar “who got the job done”, Gaikwad said.
“Ratnakant posed with the TCs and they went away happy. Despite with us in the same compartment for over 12 hours, they were not able to tell the difference. I was enjoying every bit of it,”Gaikwad said.
But the two Gaikwads are avoiding flying because they would easily be discovered. But he covers that problem up saying he will continue to travel by train even though the flying ban on him has been revoked. “My last two journeys on the Rajdhani Express, from Mumbai to Delhi, were very comfortable. I’m in no hurry to catch a flight,” he said.
Talking about the March 23 Air India incident for the first time in detail, Gaikwad told Mumbai Mirror that it was the mention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that got his goat.
“I demanded that a complaint register be handed over to me, and kept waiting for the same to arrive. After some time, a gentleman walked towards me and in a high-pitched tone inquired what the problem was. I introduced myself as a Member of Parliament, to which he retorted, `MP hain toh kya? Teri complaint Modi se karunga’. That’s when I got really angry,” he said.
But he is adamant that he has absolutely no regrets hitting an elderly person?
“Not at all. I removed my footwear and hit him about 20 to 25 times, even when everybody tried to hold me back and calm me down.”
So, next time you see Gaikwad hitting someone with slippers, ensure that it is the real Shiv Sena guy, not his body double.
Who ever said politicians are dumb people?