Mumbai, Nov 15: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today opposed any attempt by the government to bail out Kingfisher Airlines saying that if the Manmohan Singh-led UPA has excess money, it should be utilised for re-starting closed textile mills in Mumbai and waiving off loans to farmers.
“Kingfisher finds itself in trouble due to its owner Vijay Mallya. The airline has no money to pay its employees and purchase fuel for the planes. But, there is no impact on Mallya's lifestyle or his other businesses including the recently accquired Force One motor racing team,” Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana'.
Instead of Kingfisher, the government can resurrect Air India's Maharaja which was the face of Indian aviation sector.
“However, the government has turned a blind eye to the problems of the national carrier,” he said.
“Kingfisher's problems are its own making. If the UPA feels it has excess money, it should utilise the funds for restarting closed mills in Mumbai and waive off farmers loans in the country. It should also give increased prices for the sugarcane crop,” he said.
Thackeray welcomed Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj's comments against the proposed bailout of debt-ridden Kingfisher by the government.
Bajaj had said on Sunday that the private sector should not be bailed out and “those who die must die”.
Thackeray said private sector companies like Godrejs, Tatas and Birlas have never sought government's help when they faced crisis in their business.
He charged that former Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel went out of his way to help Kingfisher Airlines. “The airline company collapsed after Patel was shifted out of the Ministry,” he said.