Since Narendra Modi took charge of India as the Prime Minister, nation-building has become synonymous with the violence of all kinds on poor and benefiting the big corporates be it Reliance, Tata or the Adani Group. This is the Gujarat Model, though this time on the national scale.
The neo-liberal agenda of the BJP regime has occupied the center stage in its policy measures, all of which are targeted against the working classes in every realm. The willingness of this government to be driven by capital and not by the welfare of the masses is apparent in its extensive campaign to intensify privatisation in every public sphere. The Modi regime has made sure that from educational institutions to heritage sites, land, forests, airports, and very recently Indian railways to be given to private players.
Continuing its efforts to intensify the process of privatization, in 2019 the Modi government bypassed laws to allow the Adani group to get the tender for the developing and operating six recently upgraded airports for 50 years. This included the airports at Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangaluru, and Thiruvananthapuram.
Now in 2021, the same Adani group has decided to raise the charges by as high as ten times at the Lucknow airport. According to The Economic Times, aviation circle experts have said that a rise in the charges at other five airports, which are controlled by the same group is expected. For private jets and international flights, charges such as the ‘turnaround charges’ have been increased multifold.
Adani Has Modi Regime’s Political Affection
In 2019, when the bids for the airports were placed, it was suggested by the Department of Economic Affairs that given the huge financial risk involved in the project, not more than two airports should be given to the same bidder. Similar suggestions were also given by the NITI Aayog. However, the Public-Private Partnership Appraisal Committee had overruled these suggestions.
Indian Economy has been in a free fall since the disastrous demonetisation and GST policies undertaken by the govt, COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Lakhs of people have slipped below the poverty line not only in India but all across the globe. During the same time, Gautam Adani, the founder and chairman of the Adani group became the second richest man in Asia.
It must be pointed out that the group’s largest expansion happened during the Modi regime. The benevolence of Modi govt and BJP on Adani is visible in several infrastructure projects and public sectors are given away to Adani Group at peanuts. From operating ports, mining and exporting coal to water management, etc, the group has been ruling in many areas.