The video of a woman losing her cool at Union Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam at the Imphal airport has gone viral on Wednesday. The woman was miffed over the delay of flights due to President Ram Nath Kovind's visit. Later the woman, Nirala Singh, told ANI that the VVIP culture should be stopped since everyone's time is valuable.
According to reports, Singh, a final-year medical student studying in Imphal, was flying to her hometown Patna for her brother's funeral. Her flight was allegedly delayed by two hours because it clashed with the arrival of the president, which meant that she missed her connecting flight from Kolkata.
"I have to reach Patna. The body is waiting, otherwise the body will decay. I am a doctor, I know that. The body is still at home," Singh can be heard pleading with Alphons, who maintained his calm.
Singh spotted the minister with his retinue—he was taking a flight out of Imphal—and lashed out at him as a crowd stood watching , clubbing him with VIPs whose security is often intrusive and leaves people in the lurch.
The Union minister, on the other hand, said, "I don't think there is any controversy at all. I saw this lady in distress and I went up to talk to her, she said she has to attend a funeral in Patna, I told her that there is a protocol that when the president is landing no flight can take off."
He added, "Apart from prime minister and president there is no protocol for any minister. She (woman in video) had to talk to someone, it is fine with me that she vented her anger on me."
"As a representative of the Government of India, she wanted me to intervene," Alphons told PTI, amid allegations that he was the cause of the delay of the flight.
The Union tourism minister was accompanied by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha and senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.
Three flights were delayed because of VVIP movement as the president's flight was scheduled to arrive. Air traffic was affected for nearly two hours," an official at Imphal airport said.