Friday, December 8, 2023

Kerala: All parties barring BJP oppose centre’s decision to hand over airport to Adani group

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All political parties in Kerala except BJP, Thursday said they would not allow the Centre to hand over the management and operation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport to the Adani group.

At an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the left government and the main opposition Congress expressed strong reservations over the Centre’s nod to lease out the international airport in the state capital district to Adani Enterprises and demanded that the decision be revoked.

The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through public-private partnership (PPP) Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports — Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati — through PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.

“Thiruvananthapuram airport privatised to Adani rejecting the claim of Kerala govt, even after offer to match Adani’s rate. PMO’s promise to accept Kerala proposal broken. People of Kerala will not accept this act of brazen cronyism. #Airportprivatisation,” Kerala Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac tweeted on Thursday.

“The Union Government’s decision to award operations of Trivandrum Airport to Adani Group on a 50-year-lease amidst the COVID crisis is a deplorable move. The airport is the state’s property, and must not be privatised,” said Kerala’s senior Congress leader and Leader Of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly Ramesh Chennithala.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that it will be difficult for Kerala to cooperate if the decision is against the wishes of its people.

“In view of the unilateral decision taken by the Government of India without giving credence to the cogent arguments put forward by the State government, it will be difficult for us to offer co-operation to the implementation of the decision, which is against the wishes of the people of the State,” Vijayan said in a letter to Modi.

“I request your good self to intervene at this stage so that the decision taken now is reconsidered,”Vijayan said.

The Kerala government did not qualify in Thiruvananthapuram airport’s bidding process that was carried out in a transparent manner, rejecting the opposition by the state government, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.

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