NEW DELHI: Renaming of the domestic airport at Hyderabad by removing late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's name today drew loud protests in Rajya Sabha from Congress, which accused the government of carrying out "arbitrary" changes.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Deputy Leader of Congress in the Upper House Anand Sharma said it was "unacceptable" and they will not allow the House to function.
Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans and waving placards that led to two adjournments in the pre-lunch session.
They were protesting against the renaming of the domestic terminal of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad after the late N T Rama Rao.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had last week issued an order naming of the domestic terminal at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad after NTR, the founder of Telugu Desham Party, the ruling party in the state.
Congress members demanded that Rajiv Gandhi's name should continue in both the domestic as well as the international terminals of the airport.
Pointing towards the treasury benches, Sharma said, "The arbitrary change of the name of an airport at Hyderabad...it is something that is unacceptable."
Senior party leader Madhusudan Mistry was seen in the Well along with over ten MPs including P Haumantha Rao, former minister J D Seelam.
As Congress members kept shouting slogans and waving placards, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien at one point of time angrily asked Sharma to discipline his party members.
As members remained unrelenting, Kurien adjourned the House for around ten minutes till noon. But, similar scenes were witnessed when the House resumed at noon.
While the Leader of Rajya Sabha and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was introducing new ministers, Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans.
Chairman Hamid Ansari sought to pacify the agitating members and take up the Question Hour. However, Congress members were unrelenting.
Ansari then adjourned the House till 2 PM.
The issue also generated heat in Lok Sabha with TRS member P Vinod Kumar asking the government to withdraw the decision to name the domestic terminal of Hyderabad airport as NT Rama Rao airport, which was opposed by TDP's Srinivasa Rao.
Raising the issue in Zero Hour, Kumar pointed out that Hyderabad was located in Telangana and the Centre had decided on giving NTR's name to the airport without taking the consent of the TRS government in the state.
Maintaining that no airport had different names for domestic and international terminals, he demanded that the Centre withdraw the name of NTR.
Speaking after him, TDP's Srinivasa Rao said government had "rectified a mistake" by retaining NTR's name for the domestic terminal and demanded that the government should maintain status quo on the matter.