Govt relents, PM to mull over revamp alternatives

PM had talks with Left parties and is in a meeting with strikers. Why a revamp?|Pics

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 18:05 IST

The Prime Minister on Friday held a meeting with the Left leaders in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

After the meeting, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said that Manmohan would be holding talks with AAI Employees Joint Forum in the evening.

Karat said the Prime Minister also agreed to consider the alternative plan for modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports that was submitted by the Forum to him last year.

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The plan gives Airports Authority of India the responsibility of modernising the two major metro airports.

Meanwhile, the workers continued their agitation at major airports across the country on the third day, holding demonstrations and sit-ins at various airports.

Passenger amenities, including power and water supply, were the worst-hit in most of the airports affected by the strike, with the situation worsening by the hour. Even the conveyor belts and aero-bridges were not working while trolleys to carry baggage were not available.

Basu's take

The Prime Minister has agreed to meet the agitating employees of the Airport Authority of India to break the deadlock.

However, the Government has made it clear that it would not back down from the privatisation process, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said.

"Following a meeting with the Left leaders this morning, the Prime Minister has agreed to meet the trade union leaders of the striking airport employees," Basu said after the weekly CPI(M) State Secretariat meeting.

Basu, who had spoken to left leaders who met the Prime Minister, however, said that Government was not willing to withdraw the privatisation process.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 11:25 IST