Statement of the Lok Raj Sangathan, Maharashtra Chapter, 2 February, 2006

Brothers and sisters,

The employees of the Airport Authority of India went on strike from yesterday, in protest against the privatisation of Mumbai and Delhi airports. Since 1991, all the governments at the Centre have implemented the policy of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation. All over the country, millions of employees, common people, mass organisations and political organisations have vehemently opposed these policies. It is due to this opposition that the speed of privatisation had to be slightly reduced. However now the bulldozer of privatisation has been kick started again.

The privatisation of airports has been consistently opposed in the past. Instead of satisfactorily answering the objections to the privatisation of airports, the government played dirty tricks to ensure that its proposal would get passed in the parliament and then suddenly a few days ago took concrete steps towards their privatisation. Lok Raj Sangathan unequivocally denounces the government for these anti-people, anti-national deeds! The public sector is the property of the people of our country and no one, not even the parliament, has the right to sell it off to any private individuals or companies.

Yesterday, as per the orders of the government, peacefully protesting employees were brutally lathi-charged at Mumbai airport. Over twenty employees were badly injured in the process. Lok Raj Sangathan roundly denounces this repression too! It is reported that the government wants to impose the Essential Services Maintenance Act and take away the right to strike of these employees. Thus the Congress is proving once again, that when it is a matter of suppressing common people, it is not one whit behind the BJP. The Lok Raj Sangathan denounces this anti-people nature.

Not just the Lok Raj Sangathan, but countless other organisations and individuals all over the country support the struggle of the airport employees and oppose the government. All of us are inspired by the fight of the airport employees!

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