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Cong MP trains gun on Hoodas over airport issue

Ishwar Singh, Rajya Sabha member and a veteran Congress leader, has termed the Haryana government’s decision to choose Karnal over the holy city of Kurukshetra for a domestic airport as “anti-people”.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2013 10:57 IST
Vishal Joshi

Ishwar Singh, Rajya Sabha member and a veteran Congress leader, has termed the Haryana government’s decision to choose Karnal over the holy city of Kurukshetra for a domestic airport as “anti-people”.


Member of a front group of staunch political opponents of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Singh has threatened to raise the issue in Parliament and with the prime minister against the “partisan attitude” of the state government.

On Wednesday, Hooda had announced that the central government had cleared the projects of domestic airports in Hisar and Karnal. He had said that the airports would ensure development in the respective areas.

However, the announcement has invited a sharp reaction within the party.

Speaking to Hindustan Times on Thursday, Singh said that the “ill-sighted” decision to ignore the most-visited place of Haryana, Hooda had endangered the political prospects in Kurukshetra parliamentary segment.

He said that Karnal was neither a tourist nor a business destination, whereas Kurukshetra was a socio-cultural hub of Haryana.

“While the state government is promoting temples such as Akshardham, ISKCON and Tirupati Bala ji, which attract tourists from all over the world, now it is trying to keep the city devoid of an airport facility,” he said.

Singh said that as the ministry of civil aviation had only agreed in principle to the state government’s proposal, the issue of airport was yet to reach the Prime Minister Office.

“I will apprise the prime minister of the justifications to bring the airport project to Kurukshetra and it will be my priority to annul the Karnal project based on people’s demand,” he said.

He said that it was unfortunate that Rohtak parliamentarian Deepender Hooda first raised the “illogical” demand to select Karnal for an airport facility as his father Bhupinder Singh Hooda had studied at Sainik School, Kunjpura, near Karnal.

“It is unfortunate that Hooda made all efforts to fulfill his son’s demand by ignoring people’s sentiments. When we raise people’s issues then these leaders only call us undisciplined,” he said.

“Various social and religious organisations are demanding air connectivity for lakhs of pilgrims visiting the holy city every year. They have been submitting memoranda of demands to the district administration since long, but Hooda has overlooked all these factors to satisfy his ego,” Singh said.

Singh, a close aide of union minister Kumari Selja, also bête noire of Hooda, said that Hooda’s announcement had given political ammunition to the opposition.

“When all are gearing up for the parliament and assembly elections in 2014, the ill-timed announcement shows the political maturity of Hooda. The decision will have negative influence on voters,” he said.

In praise of Hooda

Congress leaders of Karnal hail the airport project for the district as a major achievement.

Local legislator Sumita Singh thanked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Hooda for the project.

Surendra Narwal, president of district Congress committee, praise CM and his son Rohtak MP Deepdender Hooda for development of Karnal.

In a press release issued on Thursday, none of the Congress leaders mentioned about Dr Arvind Sharma, two-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnal on the airport project.