Two years after Arvind Jadhav, an IAS officer, was made Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday questioned the appointment.
Demanding his immediate resignation, party spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed the finger at the Prime Minister-appointed search committee, which was constituted in 2009, within a year of the appointment of Raghu Menon as CMD.
This panel shortlisted three names that were sent to the Prime Minister, who selected Mr. Jadhav.
In 2008 Mr. Jadhav was also shortlisted but not selected for the job as he did not have experience in the aviation sector. “How is it that a year later, the same man was found adequately qualified for the same job for which he was not found good enough earlier,” asked Mr. Rudy, who, through a Right to Information plea, gained access to documents on the two appointments.
Search panel ‘bulldozed’
Mr. Rudy did not make any allegation of wrongdoing by Mr. Jadhav but questioned the propriety of appointing a man to a job for which he had lost the race a year earlier. He suggested that the search committee comprising the then Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and others were “bulldozed” into shortlisting Mr. Jadhav.
“It took me two years to get the information on the minutes of the meetings held by the search committee,” he said.
Separately, it is learnt, Mr. Menon, was promoted to the Secretary-level while he was with Air India and shifted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, creating a vacancy that was filled by Mr. Jadhav. It seems Mr. Jadhav has also been now empanelled for a Secretary-level position in the Government of India.
Mr. Rudy said Air India was in a total “financial mess. ” It had a debt of Rs. 40,000 crore and owed salary arrears to employees to the tune of Rs. 3000 crore. Hindu