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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

After Air India, will BJP govt look to sell Kashmir citing expenditure, asks Shiv Sena

Mumbai city news: In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said Air India was an icon of the country’s pride and prosperity

mumbai Updated: Jun 30, 2017 14:27 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.(File)

The Shiv Sena on Friday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government’s decision to privatise Air India, saying tomorrow the government may similarly look to sell Kashmir citing expenditure on its security.

In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said, “Air India is an icon of the country’s pride and prosperity. If this decision was taken by the previous Congress government, the BJP would have heavily criticised it and asked if the government cannot run the national carrier how is it going to run the country.”

“The government is looking to sell Air India because the debt has climbed to Rs50,000 crore. Tomorrow, saying they cannot afford expenses of providing for Kashmir’s security our administrators may even go out to sell Kashmir,” the Sena said.

Read more: HT Exclusive: Things are sorted between BJP-Sena, says Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

It said the previous Congress regime was responsible for declining financial health of Air India, but the situation was expected to improve under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The party said, “Finance Minister Arun Jaitley laid the figures and called Air India a white elephant, but he did not speak about why the national carrier, which at one point of time had a good name and an identity, has reached this stage. Air India’s share in the industry has dropped because officials in the civil aviation ministry sold a lot of profit-making routes to private airlines. That was corruption. The Modi government had an opportunity to make things good, which it did not do.”

The government shifted Air India headquarters out of its landmark location in Mumbai to Delhi, and that’s where the Maharaja’s kingdom became shaky, the party said.

Read more: Five hurdles the Shiv Sena faces in ruling the Mumbai civic body

First Published: Jun 30, 2017 09:42 IST