The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its strong opposition to the decision of the Vajpayee government to privatise Indian Airlines. This decision goes much beyond the disinvestment of some shares held by the government. The proposal worked out by the cabinet includes divesting 51 per cent of the government’s shares and allowing a private partner with 26 per cent to run the airlines.

Earlier private airlines were allowed to operate within the country; now the BJP-led government is bent upon privatising the only public sector airlines which has a national network. This shocking and brazen decision goes against national interests and has come soon after the announcement that five major airports will be leased out to private managements.

The CPI(M) calls upon all democratic forces to vigorously oppose this decision regarding Indian Airlines which is symptomatic of the indiscriminate privatisation drive resorted to by the BJP-led government. The CPI(M) extends its full support to the 2nd February strike called by the employees of all public sector units who are protesting against the privatisation drive of the government.