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03 August 2012

No plans to privatise Air India: Chaudhary Ajit Singh

Ajit Singh'No plans to privatise Air India: Chaudhary Ajit Singh'

A parliamentary panel had hauled up his predecessor for doing a "sloppy job" on monitoring the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines. Since taking over the Civil Aviation Ministry last December, RLD chief Ajit Singh has been busy dealing with the flawed merger's repercussions, the ongoing pilot strike being the latest. In an exclusive chat with Sebastian PT, Singh discusses his roadmap for the airline's revival. Excerpts:

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10 February 2012

‘I don’t know if manifestoes influence public opinion’

drogba'I don’t know if manifestoes influence public opinion'

Rashtriya Lok Dal State president Baba Hardev Singh shares with Anil Yadav his party’s views on the polls and why he thinks that his party’s move on giving ticket to candidates having a criminal background was correct.

Why do you expect that people will vote in favour of your party in this election?


We are the only political party whose programme is based on the polices of Chaudhary Charan Singh.

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31 January 2012

UP govts' failure created space for new leadership: Shri Jayant Chaudhary

drogba'UP govts' failure created space for new leadership: Shri Jayant Chaudhary'

Although he is still under the shadow of his powerful politician father and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh, Jayant Chaudhary is desperate to make his own niche in the political arena of UP. The 32-year-old RLD MP from Mathura, therefore, has jumped into the fray from Mat constituency of his parliamentary seat. In a conversation with Pankaj Shah, he discusses his party's strategy for the forthcoming state poll. Excerpts:

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17 January 2012

Q&A: Ajit Singh, Union minister for civil aviation

drogba'DGCA safety audit from time to time is routine but there are no violations'

New civil aviation minister Ajit Singh says Air India will be saved but must realise it is in a service industry. He also tells Mihir Mishra & Kavita Chowdhury that private carriers should be allowed to ply abroad if there are unused country rights and he would not discriminate on safety rule enforcement between a state airline and a private one. He’s also for more private participation in establishing airports. Edited excerpts:

What are the major issues with the sector and how do you plan to resolve these?


Business growth for airlines will come from Tier-II and Tier-III towns and we need to do a lot of things to facilitate the growth from these areas. We also need to do a lot of route rationalisations and allow airlines to fly to these cities and towns but not at the cost of losing money. I am of the view that private participation should be taken to build these airports. We modernised some on a public-private partnership but that got stalled and we need to continue it. The Airports Authority of India does not have the money to build all the airports.

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12 January 2012

Used to play the guitar, now I’m a boring man

drogbaUsed to play the guitar, now I’m a boring man.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) general secretary Jayant Chaudhary’s career is a combination of circumstances and choice. The suave US-born and London School of Economics-educated son of party chief Ajit Singh has picked the rough and tumble of Uttar Pradesh politics as his vocation.

The decision has cost the former investment banker his favourite pastime — playing the guitar and singing.

Spirited debates in Parliament and espousing the cause of farmers, like his father and grandfather, former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, are the beats the 33-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Mathura marches to now. Chaudhary, who is married to Punjabi girl Charu Singh and believes “inter-caste marriages can harmonise the society”, speaks to HT on the dynamics in UP and other issues. Extracts:

Is there any seat-sharing trouble with Congress? The alliance is shaping up well. By and large, issues have been sorted out.

How many seats is RLD contesting? We are going to contest 50 seats. (The party had contested 252 seats in the 2007 polls without any alliance and won 10, all in its western UP stronghold.)

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09 January 2012

‘We need a polity which can reach out to individuals that can deliver on people’s expectations.’

Jayant ChaudharyWe need a polity which can reach out to individuals that can deliver on people’s expectations.

RLD General Secretary, the leader of Rashtriya Lok Dal and Mathura MP Jayant Chaudhary is all set to lead his party in U.P. Assembly Polls, 2012.

In a candid conservation with young volunteers associated with “Campaign UP 2012”, the young face of Rashtriya Lok Dal discusses about his vision of Uttar Pradesh, the role of youth in a democracy and his efforts in raising the issues related to the development of the rural economy. Excerpts:


Q: What message you want to give to the young people of Uttar Pradesh? Do you think youth is a “vibrant force of change” in democracy & politics of India?

I believe our democracy and society is at the cusp of transformative changes. I believe the educated youth is challenging the traditional structures & hierarchies and in the process emancipating those who were not in the mainstream.


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Latest Interviews

drogbaSP-BSP-RLD ready to take on BJP; polls 'make or break' for idea of inclusive India: Jayant Chaudhary.

New Delhi, Mar 10 The SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh had no accommodation problems and is battle ready to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, RLD vice president Jayant Chaudhary said Sunday, asserting the contest will be a "make or break" for the idea of an inclusive and progressive India.

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