Patna: The BJP on Monday said Ratan Tata`s
comment that he was not comfortable with the idea of bribing a
minister to enter the airline business appeared ambiguous and
asked him to clarify.
"I have heard about what he has said, but his comments
appear to be an ambiguous... there must be a background to
his comments which he should elaborate," BJP national
spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters here in reply to a
"I will be extremely happy to reply if he brings more
facts to it," Rudy said referring to the comments by Tata.
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata in Dehradun said he did
not enter the airline business as he was not comfortable with
the idea of bribing Rs 15 crore to a minister, as had been
suggested by an industrialist.
He, however, did not name the individual.
After taking over the reins of the group, Ratan Tata had
tried at least on three occasions to pursue the aviation
business and accordingly moved the government of the day in
1995, 1997 and 2001.
The last time (2001), it was the BJP government when
Tatas and Singapore Airlines withdrew as sole bidders their
joint bid for Air India, citing political opposition to the
"Ratan Tata, being a proven industrialist and head of a
business empire that has contributed immensely to
infrastructure development of the country, must be taken
seriously when he says something," Rudy said.
Rudy, who was the union aviation minister in 2003 during
the NDA rule at the Centre, said that the process of
privatising airline business in the country was opened during
the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and decks were cleared for
the private airliners to enter into it.
A number of private companies entered the airline
business in an open competition and some survived and
prospered, while several others vanished, the former union
aviation minister said.
Rudy also credited himself with operationalisation of
low-cost airline business in 2003 to make the aviation sector
an affordable means of transportation.