Accusing Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh of making policy statements on Air India outside Parliament during the session period, the Communist Party of India-Marxist on Tuesday moved a privilege notice against him in the Lok Sabha.
"We have tabled a notice of privilege against the civil aviation minister in the House and demanded that he come and explain why he made policy statements on the issue outside when Parliament is in session," CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia told reporters in New Delhi.
His statement came soon after Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Hussain said Singh committed breach of privilege and a notice would be moved against him in the Lok Sabha.
"The whole Opposition will bring a privilege motion and because it is a case of privilege, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swatraj has also taken it up and said that we will give a notice on this," Hussain said.
The House had earlier witnessed a heated debate, with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and several others, including Acharia, Hussain and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), castigating the minister for making policy statements to the media on issues like privatisation of Air India when Parliament was in session.
Acharia and his party colleague Sitaram Yechury also appealed to both the pilots and the government to urgently restore normalcy in Air India's flight schedules to end the continued inconvenience to passengers.
Yechury said the parliamentary standing committee, headed by him, had twice pointed out serious problems with the merger of the two erstwhile State-run carriers, Indian Airlines and Air India. This was also pointed out by the committee on public undertakings.
Observing that the standing committee had recommended that the two airlines continue to function separately but under a single holding company, he said, "But the government did not accept our recommendations and today the problems, which we had warned of three-four years ago, are occurring."