The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Reports that the long-delayed aircraft acquisitions by Indian Airlines and Air India are being held up by the BJP-led Government for political reasons, clearly under US pressure, are truly shocking. When the IA Board had earlier recommended acquisition of a fully Airbus fleet and Air India too had decided to acquire low seat-capacity aircraft again implying Airbus rather than Boeing aircraft, aviation experts had predicted that there would be intense pressure mounted by Boeing and the US Government to reverse these decisions. These fears have now proved to have been well-founded.
Sections of the press have reported that no less than the Cabinet Committee on Security has stepped in with a directive that all Government orders should take into account India’s geo-political and security interests, clearly suggesting that placing orders with Airbus would upset the USA and implying that this would go against India’s “security interests”. That the BJP-led government has been bending over backwards to please the US is well known, but this latest manifestation betrays a slavish mentality. The Finance Ministry’s caveat that IA should not go ahead with its acquisition plans in the light of its impending disinvestment, which has actually been shelved indefinitely, is only a fig leaf to cover up the naked truth of the total surrender of Indian sovereignty to the US by the BJP-led government.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands an immediate reversal of this political directive of the CCS and calls for the IA/AI aircraft acquisition to proceed on merits and in a manner to advance Indian rather than American interests.