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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Opposition slams Ajit Singh for Air India privatisation remark

PTI  New Delhi, October 06, 2013
First Published: 16:20 IST(6/10/2013) | Last Updated: 16:22 IST(6/10/2013)

Opposition parties including the Left on Sunday slammed civil aviation minister Ajit Singh for saying that government was ready to privatise Air India and accused him of selling public asset without bringing a civil aviation policy.

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Warning the minister against making any "off-the-cuff" remark, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said there must be a proper discussion on the issue.

"It is a serious and sensitive issue. There must be proper discussion within the government first and thereafter the views of the opposition needs to be taken," he told reporters in New Delhi when asked to comment on Singh's remarks.

Asking the government not to take a "disastrous move" which will go against national interest, senior CPI leader D Raja said the government had promised to bring a civil aviation policy but did not do it in so many years.

"It is undertaking privatisation in bits and pieces without taking Parliament into confidence."

"While equity was not being infused in AI in accordance with the turn around plan, Airports Authority of India (AAI) was also being systematically undermined. This is a conscious effort to dismantle both these public sector undertakings," the CPI national secretary said.

He said it was also "atrocious" that six airports including Kolkata and Chennai were being privatised soon after AAI has spent rupees thousands of crores of public money to modernise and upgrade them.

Maintaining that general elections were on the anvil, Raja said these decisions should be taken by the new government after the elections.

"What moral right Ajit Singh has to take such decisions on behalf of the next government," he posed.


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