CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was deplaned in Frankfurt for Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight as he was "too drunk to walk".
As per media reports, Mann, who was on a trip to Germany from September 11-18, delayed his departure as he was reportedly in 'an inebriated state'.
However, his party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has strongly denied the rumours, saying Mann was not deplaned at the Frankfurt airport. The party termed it false and frivolous propaganda by political rivals.
A co-passenger in a message said, "the CM was not steady on his feet as he had imbibed excessive alcohol n had to be supported by his wife/security".
"Our political opponents are spreading these rumours to defame our CM. They cannot digest that CM Mann is working hard to get investment in Punjab. The CM returned as per schedule," party Chief Spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang told the media.
Officials in the Chief Minister's Office claimed that the Chief Minister could not board the flight because of an emergent health concerns.
With many different versions floating around, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal Monday said the reports of the Chief Minister being deplaned from Lufthansa flight as he was "too drunk to walk" have "embarrassed and shamed Punjabis all over the globe".
In a post on Twitter, Badal said: "Disturbing media reports quoting co-passengers say Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann 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."
He also said that Arvind Kejriwal should come clean on the issue.
He asked the Indian government to raise the issue with its German counterpart if Mann was deplaned in Frankfurt.
"Shockingly, Punjab government is mum over these reports involving their Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. Arvind Kejriwal needs to come clean on this issue. Government of India must step in as this involves Punjabi and national pride. If he was deplaned, GoI must raise the issue with its German counterpart," Badal tweeted.
Setting aside the rumours, AAP's director of media communication Chander Suta Dogra said Mann was a little unwell.