The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bid for Anil meeting with Left

Calcutta, Feb. 9: A meeting is possible between Anil Ambani and the CPM leadership, highly-placed sources in the party said.

The sources said efforts are on to arrange a meeting between Anil, who is reaching Calcutta on Friday, and a few CPM leaders, who are attending the politburo meeting in the city.

Anil is coming to Calcutta tomorrow morning to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Bengal government to set up an institute for advanced study in information technology.

Tomorrow is also the last day of the CPM politburo meeting in the city, when the leadership is expected to discuss the modernisation of airports.

That the two events fall on the same day could be a pure coincidence ' Anilís plan to visit the city was made public a day before the CPM formally declared Calcutta as the venue for the politburo meeting.

But there is a common thread: airport modernisation. Calcutta was picked to host the CPM meeting because of the airport ceasework.

Party leaders reportedly refused to fly during the industrial action to express solidarity with those protesting the award of the modernisation contracts to private companies, prompting the CPM to reschedule the meeting and shift the venue from Delhi to Calcutta.

Though for different reasons, Anilís company Reliance Airport Developers has also opposed the award of the airport contract and has moved court alleging foul play.

The sources refused to say what would be on the agenda if a meeting between the industrialist and the Left leaders materialised.

A CPM parliamentarian today wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to reconsider the cabinet decision on modernisation of Mumbai and Delhi airports.

Timing it with the politburo meeting, Dipankar Mukherjee, a Rajya Sabha MP, sent a two-page letter to Manmohan Singh.

The MP alleged that the group of ministers (which chose the winners and forwarded the names to the cabinet) had deliberately gone beyond the fixed terms of reference to favour certain bidders.


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