Air India sale a scam in the making, will file complaint if I find culpability: Subramanian Swamy

Swamy has threatened to file a complain if he finds anything wrong with the deal.

Air India sale a scam in the making, will file complaint if I find culpability: Subramanian Swamy
Subramanian Swamy has questioned the need to disinvest from Air India. (Picture: PTI)

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has called the proposed disinvestment of Air India a 'potential scan' and said he will file a private criminal law complaint if he finds out anyone has stepped out of line.

The maverick MP's threat comes just days after the Ministry of Civil aviation submitted a memorandum on divesting 76 percent stake in the national carrier. The ministry had said it would transfer full management control of the debt-ridden airline to the private promoters who pick up the stake.

This is not the first time Swamy is questioning the Narendra Modi government's intention to sell off its stake in Air India. Last year, he had asked of the need to disinvest when the airline's flights were occupied.

"The proposed sale of Air India is potentially another scam in the making. Selling family silver is not divestment," said Swamy in a tweet on Saturday.

"I am watching who is doing what and will, if I see culpability, file a private criminal law complaint," he warned.



Swamy, no stranger to being at odds with the stand of the party he joined in 2013, soon found a young BJP MP defending his party. Pratap Simha, the Lok Sabha MP for Karnataka's Mysore Constituency, responded to Swamy's tweet.

"Dear Sir, I have the highest regard for u n I am also in the parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism n culture under which Air India comes. Der is no meaning in spending public money to retain loss making AI n govt has better things2 do rather than running airlines," read Simha's tweet.



Air India, which has more than Rs 52,000 crore debt burden, is surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012. 

The government has proposed selling 76% stake in the airline as well as transfer management control to private players. Besides, Air India would divest 100% stake in Air India Express and 50% shareholding in AISATS, an equal joint venture with Singapore-based SATS.

Air India had 11,214 permanent employees as on December 1, 2017. These include 2,056 people on deputation to other companies and agencies. The airline also had 2,913 employees on contract and 2,661 people on deputation from other companies, among others, as per the memorandum. Among the permanent staff, as many as 4,217 are set to retire in the next five years, it added.

(With PTI inputs)