Contrary to what political parties might now proclaim, their record is not blemishless when it comes to hijackings. The Congress and the BJP have been guilty in the past of providing patronage to hijackers. While the Congress rewarded two hijackers with assembly tickets in Uttar Pradesh, Atal Behari Vajpayee was sympathetic to the hijacker who demanded the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
On January 23, 1993, Satish Chandra Pandey, a staunch Ram bhakt and BJP supporter from Sultanpur, hijacked a Delhi-bound Indian Airlines (IA) plane from Lucknow, holding 48 passengers hostage. He was protesting against the then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Raos assurance-soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid-that "it will be reconstructed". "I flew into a rage," Satish said then. "I wanted to attract the attention of the government." Soon after hijacking the aircraft, Pandey got in touch with Vajpayee. He surrendered before Vajpayee.