Pressure mounts on BJP to help retain show in K'taka

Pressure mounts on BJP to help retain show in K'taka

Pressure is mounting on BJP leaders to ensure Aero India, the biennial air show and aviation exhibition, is retained in Bengaluru.

Union Minister for Planning and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda on Monday said he will take up the issue with the Central government and it is his responsibility as the air show is held in his constituency – Bengaluru North.

So far, 11 editions of the air show have been held at Yelahanka Air Force Station since 1996.

Speaking to reporters, Gowda said, “I will take it up with the Centre. I will be reaching New Delhi on Tuesday and will immediately meet all concerned.”

Alliance partners in the coalition government – the Congress and the JD(S) - have taken strong objection to reports that the Ministry of Defence was planning to shift ‘Aero India’ show from Bengaluru.

‘BJP answerable’

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that the BJP was answerable on what grounds the show was being shifted from Bengaluru.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara have been attacking the BJP ever since the report of shifting the show surfaced.

Union Minister Ananth Kumar went into a damage control mode. Kumar said he will meet Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and convince her that Bengaluru is the right place to hold the international air show.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah joined the bandwagon on Monday, reminding Nirmala that she had responsibilities towards Karnataka, that sent her to the Rajya Sabha.

Members of National Students Union Of India organised a signature campaign in Bengaluru with a memorandum to the Defence Ministry not to shift the venue.

This is not the first time that there are talks about shifting Aero India. In 2012, the Bangalore International Airport Limited took up airspace management issue with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, which, in turn, approached the Defence Ministry with a proposal to shift the air show.

Bengaluru Central MP P C Mohan said no final decision had been taken and the coalition government should stop politicising the issue.