When Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha invited RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) to breakfast, he was hoping to allay concerns regarding the disinvestment of India's national carrier. Sinha even offered to allow prospective buyers a flexible holding structure to permit clubbing of existing airlines' operations - a move that is likely to interest the Tata group. SJM, however, opposed the sale and said the government should only divest a minority stake to raise capital.
Last week, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had pushed for AI control remaining with Indian entities. "Our skies should not be controlled by someone else," he said. A significant number of BJP parliamentarians also echo this line, lobbying in favour of the domestic industry. The Sangh's trade union, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, has already spoken against AI divestment. Several BJP leaders believe that the sale would become ammunition for the opposition.
Anilesh S. Mahajan
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