BENGALURU: Days after The New Indian Express reported about the Centre mulling to shift Aero India 2019 out of Bengaluru, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao wrote to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding that as a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka, she must ensure that Aero India is retained in Bengaluru. Saying that Karnataka’s legislators had elected Nirmala to the Rajya Sabha despite her being from a different state, Rao demanded that she protect the state’s interests first.
The Congress has accused the Union government of continuously discriminating against Karnataka.
“Aero India is a prestigious show that attracts visitors from across the globe and there is no better venue than Bengaluru to host it. What have you given to Karnataka as a Rajya Sabha member from here? Instead of giving us something, you are taking away what we already have,” Rao said at a press conference releasing the letter written to the Defence Minister. Highlighting that Karnataka’s legislators had elected Nirmala Sitharaman to the Rajya Sabha despite her being from a different state, Rao demanded that she protect the interests of Karnataka first.
The Congress, in its letter, has urged the minister to reconsider the Centre’s decision of moving the venue of Aero India to Lucknow. “Defence and aviation firms are in Bengaluru. Defence manufacturing companies are in Bengaluru. But the minister says she is still in the process of finalising venue and dates for the show. She refuses to give a clear response,” Rao added.
Accusing the BJP of refusing to lend a helping hand for farm loan waiver, not intervening in Mahadayi water sharing row, causing losses to the State with 15th Finance Commission implementation, the Congress has accused the Modi-led government of bias. “The Centre has shifted the only CRPF centre in South in Taralu of Karnataka to Chandoli in Uttar Pradesh. Now they want to shift Aero India also to UP. As if it wasn’t enough that they ill-treated HAL in the Rafale deal, they now want to take away the air show from here too,” Rao alleged.
TNIE, on August 3, had reported that the Ministry of Defence was mulling shifting Aero India 2019 from Bengaluru’s Yelahanka to Lucknow’s Bakshi Ka Talaab. Sitharaman, who had visited Bengaluru on Saturday, had refused to comment on the issue, but maintained that many states had been demanding that they be allowed to host the air show.