No concrete steps taken by State govt. to rename Mangaluru airport: Harish Kumar

Rebutting the statement of district Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Sudershan Moodbidri that the Congress was indulging in caste politics, district Congress president K. Harish Kumar said on Friday that it was the BJP that was playing caste politics with regard to naming Mangaluru International Airport after Koti Chennayya, the revered twins of Tulu tradition.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Harish Kumar said neither the State government nor the State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel took any constructive step towards naming the airport.

The State government has so far not sent a proposal to the Centre on this issue. The MP has not spoken a word about the issue in the Lok Sabha, he said.

Without taking any constructive steps about naming the airport, Mr. Moodbidri has falsely claimed that Mr. Kateel is pursuing the issue, he alleged.

“Is this not caste politics by the BJP,” Mr. Harish Kumar asked, and alleged that the BJP rakes up communally sensitive issues just before elections.

Mr. Harish Kumar said it was four years ago that the local Malavoor Gram Panchayat passed resolution to name the airport after Koti Chennayya. This proposal was forwarded to the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, which sent it to the State government. The State government rejected the proposal.

On the allegation by Mr. Moodbidri that the United Progressive Alliance government privatised several airports in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, Mr. Harish Kumar said the UPA government retained the names of these airports, not as has been done with Mangaluru airport.

The Union government has violated norms in giving the Mangaluru airport on lease for 50 years to the Adani Group, he added.

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