Airport renaming: Govt wipes dust off SP proposal
Within days of supporting the UPA government over the nuclear deal, an old proposal of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government on renaming Lucknow airport will be discussed in the Union Cabinet’s meeting slated for Thursday.
Four years ago the Mulayam Singh Yadav government had submitted a proposal to the Civil Aviation ministry to rename Lucknow’s Amausi airport after the name of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.
Singh is father of RLD president Ajit Singh, who has three MPs in Parliament. Singh was part of the Mulayam Singh government in Uttar Pradesh, when the proposal was mooted and now his support is crucial for the UPA government to survive the trust vote in the Lok Sabha on July 21 and 22.
The Cabinet is considering the proposal at the time when Ajit Singh has not come out openly in support of the government on the nuclear deal issue. Incidentally, Chaudhary Charan Singh became prime minister with the support of Congress in July 1979, which withdrew support to him in January 1980 forcing him to resign.
In the changed political scenario, the civil aviation ministry, which has proposed renaming of the airport on the demand of the UP government, says it would be a befitting tribute to the farmer leader from western Uttar Pradesh, which is also the political base of Ajit Singh’s RLD.
The Lucknow airport derives its name Amausi from the village, where it is situated. There have also been demands to rename Amausi airport in the name of local heroes like Chandra Bhanu Gupta, architect of modern Lucknow.
Renaming of airports had political dimensions in India. The decision of civil aviation ministry to rename the new Hyderabad airport after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had irked TDP because a domestic terminal at the older Hyderabad airport was in the name of party’s founding member N.T. Rama Rao.