Jet Airways staff have called for a state lifeline, as al of the airline’s international flights have been cancelled as it continues to sink into debt. One maintenance engineer, Shilium, told DW News: “Please save our airline, because it was one of the premier airlines. We are facing a lot of difficulties. We have families to feed.” Another maintenance engineer, Dimpy Prakash, said: “Now the feeling is of despair, frustration.
“We want our salaries, at the same time we want to save our airline.”
On whether the crisis will affect Prime Minister Modi’s re-election bid, DW Business’ Ashutosh Pandey said: “It’s not going to have much of an impact on his political fortunes.
“It’s more about perception and sending the right message. So Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not want a prominent airline that employs more than 20,000 employees to go bust under his watch.
“He has actually boasted about his pro-business credentials all through the past five years and even before that, when he was the Chief Minister of a province in India.
It’s more about perception and sending the right message
“So having said that he wouldn’t want that to happen under his watch, and that is why we are seeing state-owned banks coming to the rescue of a private company.
“It’s a rare move.”
Jet Airways is $1.1 billion in debt and has failed to pay loans and salaries.
With approximately 23,000 jobs at stake, pressure is intensifying on Prime Minister Modi for a rescue package, with a collapse posing the risk of bad optics in his re-election campaign in a poll due by May.
India’s election commission on Monday banned a Hindu state chief minister from campaigning for three days after anti-Muslim comments in an election that will end next month.
The saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, had been warned this month about his campaign speeches, the election commission said.
The commission said Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had spoken about a “green virus” in a speech last week in reference to Muslim voters who he said were being wooed by opposition parties.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been playing to its nationalist base and painting its rivals as soft on terrorism and eager to appease Muslims, who make up about 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population.
A BJP spokesman said the party was inclusive towards all communities.
Spokesman Harish Srivastava said: “The party believes in all-together development for all, and we don’t believe in any polarisation.”
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