TDP wants to rename Hyderabad airport after NTR

TDP wants to rename Hyderabad airport after NTR

The TDP is determined to push for the renaming of Hyderabad international airport after N T Rama Rao. At present, the airport is named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju on Thursday said the TDP would like to see the proposal through. TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate N Chandrababu Naidu will raise the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. However, Modi may not act on the issue immediately.

At a press conference, Raju said he, along with many party leaders, had participated in the 2008 protests when the new airport at Shamshabad was named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"We would like to see it through. If we have a possibility, naturally we will try to push it through," he said, adding that the decision on the name of airport was taken against the wishes of the Telugu-speaking people.

"But the Telugu-speaking people are now being divided into the two states from June 2. N T Rama Rao's name should be retained," he said.

However, Raju also said "Generally speaking, naming or renaming things leaves a distaste. Memories of great people should not be dishonoured."

The TDP demand was also justified by Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu of the BJP.

"I was one among the people, who was present when it was named after the great N T Rama Rao earlier. It was changed subsequently. Some people are suggesting you change it back. That is an issue that will be decided in due course of time. That is not urgent today," Naidu said.

He said a particular party at its annual conference had expressed its desire to change the name of the airport. "There is nothing wrong about it. But the Government will take a call about it as and when necessary. Nothing is going to happen immediately," he said.

He said what was required was "the welfare of the people ... (but) we should respect the sentiments of people also. There are 650 schemes, there is no dearth of schemes in the name of different families."

TDP chief Naidu on Wednesday had revived the demand that the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport should be named after the party's founding father NTR. TDP had been demanding this since the inauguration of the airport in March 2008 by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and had even organised protests at that time.

Naidu argued was that the old airport in Begumpet was named after NTR  but when it was shifted to Shamshabad, the name was changed to honour Rajiv Gandhi. While the domestic terminal had NTR's name, the international terminal was named after Rajiv Gandhi.

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