BJP, Shiv Sena slam govt for Air India crisis

New Delhi: BJP and Shiv Sena today slammed the government for not handling the Air India crisis and demanded CBI inquiry into irregularities and steps to end the strike by Air India pilots. BJP, BJD CPI(M) and CPI members also wanted to know the fate of their privilege notice against Civil Aviation Minister for making statements outside Parliament.

Arjun Charan Sethi, who was in the Chair, said the issue was under consideration of the Speaker. "What the government has done so far…15,000 employees recruited without knowing what they will do…government should order CBI inquiry," BJP member Nishikant Dubey said resuming discussion on need to bring comprehensive policy changes in the Civil Aviation sector.

Dubey alleged that the privatised airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad are full of corruption. Citing the Delhi International Airport Ltd experience, he said the project was conceived at cost of Rs 6,000 crore but ultimately Rs 12,500 crore were spent on that.

About the Air India and Indian Airlines merger, he said there was no human resource policy in place while doing so. Sanjay Nirupam (Cong) said the government should break the pilots` strike as soon as possible as this "dadagiri" (bullying) by the employees would not be tolerated. Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) immediately retorted, "Government`s dadagiri will also not be accepted."

Nirupam pointed out that the main cause for the losses in the national carrier is that they privatised the profit making airports. They decreased the profit making routes and increased the fleet size, he said. Anant Geete (SS) asked the government to initiate talks with Air India employees to break the impasse.