AI plane crash: Praful offers to quit, PM says no
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Saturday, May 22, 2010, 21:49
  
New Delhi: Owning "moral responsibility" for the Mangalore air crash, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is Saturday night believed to have offered to resign to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who reportedly turned down the offer.

Patel, who met Singh after visiting the crash site in Mangalore, conveyed his "deep sense of anguish" over the tragedy in which 158 people lost their lives.

He is understood to have told Singh that over the last six years, he had done a lot for the development of civil aviation sector and whatever might have been the cause of the accident, he had "moral responsibility" for the mishap as the head of the "civil aviation family".

Singh is believed to have told Patel that there was no need for him to resign and that he should focus on facing the situation.

PMO officials declined to comment.

Patel, on emerging from the 30-minute meeting with Singh, said he felt "personally morally responsible for such a sad and tragic incident".

Asked by reporters as to what the Prime Minister's direction to him was, he said Singh told him "not to be overcome by the situation" but to face it.

"Certain things are beyond our control... If there are any mistakes to be corrected, they should be corrected," Patel quoted Singh as telling him.

When pressed by reporters as to whether he offered to quit, Patel said, "All issues between me and the Prime Minister need not be discussed in public."

Patel said he briefed the Prime Minister on all the aspects of the crash.

"It is my duty to brief the honourable Prime Minister about the tragic accident. I briefed him on all the aspects of the accident," he said.

The minister said that the Prime Minister had spoken to him in the morning after the air crash following which he travelled to Mangalore to oversee the search and rescue operations.

Patel refused to comment on any conjecture whether the accident was a result of pilot error.

"I would wait for the report of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation before making any comment on this matter," he said.

Patel said technically there was nothing wrong with the aircraft which was relatively new.

On all counts, technical or otherwise, situation of both the aircraft and airport appeared normal, he said.

Even when the pilot was given clearance for landing by the Air Traffic Control he did not report any shortcoming about the aircraft, Patel said.

The minister said an inquiry into the accident has been initiated by the DGCA.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, May 22, 2010, 21:49


comments powered by Disqus