Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Tuesday that the state government had no objection to naming the Chandigarh international airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. “However, the airport’s name should carry the word ‘Chandigarh’. Anyway, it’s for the central government to decide on the name,” the CM said in reply to a question.
Khattar had written to the Centre, requesting that the international civil terminal be named as Dr Mangal Sein International Airport, Chandigarh, according to a reply by Union minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma in the Lok Sabha. Sein was a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who also remained Haryana’s deputy chief minister in 1987.
Replying to an un-starred question by Congress MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu, the Union minister of state had told the Lok Sabha on December 3: “A proposal was received from the Punjab government for naming the international civil air terminal, Chandigarh, as Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport, Mohali. In 2010, then Haryana chief minister (Bhupinder Singh Hooda) proposed naming of the international civil air terminal as Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport, Chandigarh. In a subsequent letter, the Haryana CM (Khattar) has requested to name the airport terminal as Dr Mangal Sein International Airport, Chandigarh. The proposal was examined in consultation with the ministries concerned and the Haryana and Punjab governments. However, due to absence of consensus between the two states, the airport terminal could not be renamed.”
Last week, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “clarify once and for all” that the international airport was to be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. “There has been a general national consensus on naming the international airport at Mohali after Shaheed-e-Aazam Sardar Bhagat Singh and a formal and final decision to this effect should be taken without any further loss of time,” Badal had said in his statement.