THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shashi Tharoor who represents Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the Lok Sabha has yet again defended his stand on the privatisation of the international airport here. Exuding confidence that the capital city will make great strides in development when Adani Group takes the reins of Thiruvananthapuram airport on Thursday, Tharoor recalled that air travellers had always raised complaints about the airport.
Addressing a press conference here along with former Union minister and MP Pallam Raju, Tharoor recalled that during the Lok Sabha election campaigning, privatisation of the airport was a main issue he had raised before the voters. He said he won the election in 2019 by a margin of nearly a lakh votes due to the support extended by the people in favour of the airport’s privatisation.
He said the employees have been offered excellent pay packages by Adani group. “When the employees are also satisfied with the offer, my take is that the state government should go ahead with the privatisation. The delay in completing the Vizhinjam port is a setback for Adani group. But they have proved their mettle after taking over other airports in the country. I haven’t been there. I hope that they will do a good job in Thiruvananthapuram airport too,” said Tharoor. Reiterating that the airport privatisation is his personal view, Tharoor said the Congress party’s stand is different. He recalled how Nissan Motor Co Ltd had expressed apprehension about flight connectivity when it launched its global digital hub in Thiruvananthapuram.
Tharoor said Adani group had agreed in principle that the airport development committee would have public servants and other stakeholders as members. “Even if some other agency had taken interest in taking over Trivandrum International Airport, I I would have welcomed it. We will monitor the work by Adani group. The proof of the pudding is in its eating.” Adani Trivandrum International Airport Ltd (ATIAL) will take over the airport’s operations on Thursday. Tharoor and Pallam Raju highlighted the Rs 8,546-crore bribe charges against the US e-commerce giant, Amazon, in the name of legal fees in India over the last two years.
Both expressed the hope that the Congress working committee meeting on October 16 would decide on electing a full-time party president. Congress State president K Sudhakaran also expressed the hope that Rahul Gandhi will take the reins of the party.