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PM talks to Left on airports privatisation

During the meeting, the Prime Minister also apprised the Left leaders about India's position on Iran issue.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 23:19 IST

As the UPA ally CPI(M) warned against privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday sought the cooperation of the Left and other parties in ushering in economic modernisation, asserting that it was in the "national interest".

Singh sought the cooperation of crucial supporting allies at a meeting with CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and CPI National Secretary D Raja in New Delhi amid growing protests by trade unions against privatisation of the airports.

"The Prime Minister appealed to the Left and all other political parties to ensure that the policy measures taken for modernisation of economy are supported by all sections because this is in the national interest," PM's Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru told reporters after Singh's hour-long with the Left leaders.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister also apprised the Left leaders about India's position on Iran issue.

Earlier, CPI(M) warned the government against going ahead with its decision to privatise Delhi and Mumbai airports, saying it could lead to a similar situation that was faced by Rajiv Gandhi's Government on the Bofors issue.

"The Rajiv Gandhi government had to go due to the Bofors scam and Manmohan Singh government may also meet the same fate if it goes ahead with its plan to hand over the airports into the private hands," CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said while addressing the Airports Authority of India workers outside the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan.

Yechury said his party was not against modernisation but "we oppose privatisation tooth and nail. We will give our response to the Government when Parliament meets for the budget session on February 16."

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 22:47 IST