The Congress on Wednesday forced a series of adjournments in Rajya Sabha with agitated members contending that Rajiv Gandhi’s name had been removed from the domestic terminal of the Hyderabad airport. The international terminal continues to be named after Rajiv Gandhi.
The government had last week said the domestic terminal would be renamed after Telugu Desam Party’s late founder NT Rama Rao, a move that has angered the Congress. The Centre said it had only restored Rao’s name, which was dropped by the previous Congress government.
Congress members raised slogans and stormed the well of the House to protest the government’s decision to rename the domestic terminal after the TDP founder. The House had to be adjourned thrice in the din that followed.
It was alleged that civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju was resorting to cheap tactics. Congress MP Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu, who raised the issue, said his party respected Rao but the government should retain Gandhi’s name.
However, the government remained unfazed by the attacks. Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the international airport was originally in the name of Rajiv Gandhi, while the domestic airport was named after NT Rama Rao and it continued to be so.
“Rajiv Gandhi’s name remains. The demand now is that NT Rama Rao’s name be removed. That is not acceptable,” Jaitley said.
Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that the Centre was only restoring the TDP founder’s name. “The domestic airport’s name, which the Congress had dropped while shifting the airport from Begumpet to Shamshabad, has just been restored,” she said.