Facing political heat over plans to move the Aero India event to Lucknow, the State BJP leaders are trying hard to ensure that the premier air show will be hosted by Bengaluru this time too. Union Minister Ananth Kumar went on the offensive on Monday and said Lucknow does not have the infrastructure to host an event like Aero India, while BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said BJP leaders were against shifting the air show.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Union government to convey its approval to conduct the event in Bengaluru.
Calling Aero India the “Pride of Bengaluru”, Ananth Kumar said rumors of shifting the event out of Bengaluru had done the rounds during the 2017 edition as well. “Nirmala Sitharaman’s (defense minister) office has said that no such proposal is there. Officials of Uttar Pradesh have said there isn’t enough infrastructure to host the show. They have also added that no such orders have come from the Centre yet,” he said.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar said that a delegation of Karnataka BJP MPs, including Ramesh Jigajinagi, D V Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar Hedge, among others will meet the defense minister to make an appeal to not shift the air show out of the city.
Yeddyurappa said that state leaders were not in agreement with the plans to shift the show. He, however, denied that such efforts were being undertaken. “It is true that UP has asked to host it … but we are not in agreement to shift Aero India out. We will do everything required to ensure that the show stays in Bengaluru,” Yeddyurappa said. Sadananda Gowda said he will hold talks with the stakeholders when he visits Delhi on Tuesday.
After UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s public appeal to host Aero India show in UP, CM H D Kumaraswamy has shot off a letter to PM Modi. A single page letter, whose copies have been marked to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and all the MPs representing Karnataka, appeals to the Union government to convey its approval to conduct Aero India in Bengaluru.
“Bengaluru, being the hub for defense and aviation major of the country, is certainly the most suitable place to conduct the show,” the letter states while highlighting that the state has upgraded its infrastructure in terms of roads, public amenities and smooth flow of traffic. The letter to PM comes two days after Karnataka’s demand to the Defence Minister to clarify her stand on the venue of Aero India did not yield any result.
According to NSUI, a signature campaign is only the beginning of a series of protests they plan to draw the attention of the Centre. Thousands of students of Mount Carmel College and Maharani’s College took part. “I have been seeing Aero India for the past five years and it is unfortunate that it is being shifted,” said Gagana, a student of Mount Carmel College. NSUI claims to have received close to 5,000 signatures. “The campaign is just the beginning of us sending a message to the Union government,” said Keerthi Ganesh, NSUI, state general secretary.