BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today hit out at the government, led by his own party, over the disinvestment of Air India, saying it was “potentially another scam in the making”. The former Union minister said he would watch the developments and file a private criminal law complaint, if he found “culpability” in the disinvestment process. “The proposed sale of Air India is potentially another scam in the making. Selling family silver is not divestment. I am watching who is doing what and will, if I see culpability, file a private criminal law complaint,” he tweeted.
The government had, on March 28, unveiled the plan to sell up to 76 per cent stake in Air India and transfer the management control to private players, thus kicking off the ambitious strategic disinvestment process for the debt-laden national carrier. The move has come under criticism from the opposition, with Trinamool Congress (TMC) attacking the Centre over the issue. “I’m sorry to read in the media about the government inviting expression of interest for selling Air India, the jewel of our nation. We strongly oppose this and want this order to be withdrawn immediately,” TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had said.
“This government must not be allowed to sell our country,” the West Bengal chief minister had tweeted, hours after the disinvestment plan was unveiled. TMC MP Derek O’Brien had also slammed the move. “The proposed disinvestment of Air India is still being examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Transport Tourism & Culture. Stakeholders are being called. Views heard. Report still some time away. How come these moves from Govt (sic)?,” he had tweeted.
O’Brien, who is chairing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, has subsequently indicated through his tweets that the matter will be raised in Parliament, when the House resumes on Monday. “Parliament reopens on Monday. This conversation about #AirIndia now needs to move beyond tweets. Let’s (sic),” he had tweeted. The TMC leader also re-tweeted Swamy’s tweet today.