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  India   All India  10 Aug 2017  I still fly, but don’t take selfies in uniform, says Rajiv Pratap Rudy

I still fly, but don’t take selfies in uniform, says Rajiv Pratap Rudy

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 10, 2017, 2:22 am IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2017, 2:47 am IST

Asked whether he still flies, Mr Rudy said that he has taken special permission to fly commercial planes to keep his license active.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Photo: Sondeep Shankar)
 Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Photo: Sondeep Shankar)

New Delhi: As the minister of skill development and entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy is also honing his flying skill. In an event to mark the second anniversary of skill development ministry, Mr Rudy said that he still flies planes but avoids giving selfies while in a pilot uniform as it may seem “politically incorrect.” Mr Rudy is a trained pilot and was flying commercial airlines before being sworn in a minister in the Narendra Modi Government in May 2014.

Asked whether he still flies, Mr Rudy said that he has taken special permission to fly commercial planes to keep his license active. Speaking to reporters, Mr Rudy said, “A pilot’s license is not like a degree. One has to constantly clock flying hours to keep it active. Physical examinations and written tests also have to be undergone to upgrade the license.”

He further added that had he given up on flying while being a minister he would have had to start from scratch and would have lost his eligibility.

The minister said that after the flight, he was always willing to say “hi” to you but he would rather avoid getting selfies with people in his pilot’s uniform. Several passengers and even some journalists asked him but he politely turned the requests down. “It does not go with the image of a politician,” he feels. Mr Rudy hails from Bihar and has been engaged in a fierce political battle with the former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav and his family.

About a month back, passengers on an Indigo flight from Ahmedabad to Delhi were in for a big surprise when the announcement came from the cockpit that the flight was being operated by Mr Rudy. It was a rare situation where Rudy was ferrying his cabinet colleague Ananth Kumar, Smriti Irani, Ajay Tamta along with several journalists and functionaries of the government. After the event in Ahmedabad, the entourage was rushing to attend the wedding of law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s daughter in Delhi.

Mr. Rudy is the sole Parliamentarian who is rostered occasionally to operate service flights on honorary basis to keep his A-320 license active under DGCA rules.

Tags: rajiv pratap rudy, narendra modi