New Delhi: The ongoing strike by Air India (AI) pilots has once again given the opportunity to Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to train guns at Prime Minister Office (PMO).

Even though the pilots are being held responsible for the strike, BJP senses a foul play on behalf of PMO to provoke AI staff for protest. BJP alleged, PMO and AI management have joined hands to ensure the closure of AI to benefit private companies. On the issue, the Opposition has asked for a reply from the Prime Minister.

Close on the heels of 2G and CWG scam, BJP leaders strongly believe that the AI strike can make a major dent to the UPA government.

On the basis of a few documents, party spokesperson and former Civil Aviation Minister, Rajiv Pratap Rudy not only questioned the policies of UPA but also alleged the government of being involved in scams.

Rudy raised questions over the functioning of AI management. The BJP leader stated that the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines was done to prevent the heavy financial losses.

He added, “In place of reviving the situation, the loss has increased to Rs 17, 000 crore from Rs 450 crore. For this the pilots are being held responsible but the real culprit is AI management which is working in an irresponsible manner.”

He said that the air routes generating good revenue are being allotted to private airlines. “Efforts are being made to benefit the private firms only,” he added.

Coming down hard on the government, Rudy said, “The epicenter of the entire episode is the PMO. Rather than taking instructions from the Civil Aviation Ministry, the Air India Management was getting orders from PMO.”

He claimed that in a planned manner, it has been decided to hold a temporary lockout and later AI will be closed permanently.

The BJP leader argued that two parliamentary committees and the Chief Labour Commissioner have already questioned the functioning of AI management, but no action has been yet taken in this regard.

Rudy said, “The PM should answer that if there is any plan to close AI.”

JPN/Bureau