The Karnataka government on Saturday reacted strongly to the reports that Aero India, a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held in Bengaluru, will be moved out of the state capital.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara in a tweet targeted the central government saying: “We have been India’s defence hub since Independence, but under the NDA, we are constantly losing key defense projects and flagship programs.” He also urged Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “to clarify her stand on the issue”.
State revenue minister R V Deshpande also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Saturday to speak about shifting of the venue of the air show. During discussion, Mr Deshpande expressed his displeasure on shifting the grand military and commercial aero show to a new venue” calling the decision “very unfortunate”.
“Karnataka is the aerospace capital of India, a pioneer in the contribution of high tech ecosystem to the Indian Aerospace Industry by attracting 65 per cent of aerospace investments and producing a quarter of India’s Aircraft and space craft,” a press statement from the minister’s office read. “World class Aerospace park is also coming up in Bangalore. Moreover, Bangalore has been hosting the biennial Air show successfully for the past 20 years. In this background he urged the government of India to reconsider its decision,” the statement further read.
Earlier, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao had written to the defence minister on the subject.
Bengaluru has been hosting the aero show since it started in 1996. The last Aero India show was held in February 2017.
Adding to speculation that the venue of the Aero India will be shifted to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday urged the defence minister to hold the event in UP.
“I request the defence minister to hold the Aero India show in Uttar Pradesh. We will provide every type of facility. In this context, I request her to announce this at the earliest so that we can proceed with the preparations,” Yogi Adityanath said. He was speaking at an event where an announcement of a defence corridor encompassing the Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi and Chitrakoot corridor was made.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also thanked Ms Sitharaman for choosing UP for its defence corridor.
The central government has not commented on the shifting of the venue of Aero India so far.