Opposition fumes at PM's Kingfisher bailout remarks

Opposition fumes at PM's Kingfisher bailout remarks

“"It is very disturbing to listen to the Prime Minister saying that Kingfisher needs to be bailed out by the government. In fact the losses incurred by Kingfisher should be recovered from the earnings of UB Group, which is also owned by Mallya,” said Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, the latest to join the chorus of critical voices in the opposition.

Holding Mallya responsible for the crises that has engulfed Kingfisher, Yadav said, “Things like IPL, F-1 are the symbol of Mallya's over indulgence.”

Warning that a Kingfisher bailout would set a bad precedence, the JD(U) leader said: "Once Kingfisher is helped, Jet Airways and Spicejet will ask for similar bailout.”

For its part, Kingfisher Airlines has maintained that it has not sought  any bailout from the government.  Its rivals in the civil aviation sector, however, have also warned the government not to rescue the ailing carrier. 

Chief Executive of SpiceJet Neil Mills said on Monday that the government should not be wasting tax payer’s money in bailing out Kingfisher. "It is the private sector. Why should there be any bailout for a private air carrier. I do not see any logic why taxpayer's money should be used to bail out a private company," Mills told PTI when asked whether the government should bail out Kingfisher Airlines.

The BJP was the first to voice its opposition to Union Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi's statement that he would consult the Finance Minister about saving Kingfisher. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said Kingfisher should not be helped as it is not a government-owned company.

On Sunday, CPI-M said it was opposed to the idea as this would eventually lead to Indian carriers going into foreign hands. CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat claimed his party's views on the issue were related not just to one specific airline but to the issue of Foreign Direct Investment as a whole.

In a reaction to the Prime Minister’s statement that he would discuss with the Civil Aviation Minister about the possible action, Shiv Sena asked why the PM could not attend to the issues affecting the common man.

Opposition to any possible bailout attempt also came from top industrialist Rahul Bajaj, who said "those who die, must die" in a free economy.