Bengaluru girds up for Aero India fight

Bengaluru: With reports doing the rounds that the prestigious biennial Aero India show may be shifted out of Bengaluru to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, leaders of the JD(S)-Congress coalition hit out against the proposal with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleging that the defence ministry was shifting out the mega event with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as UP sends a large number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Aero India, first held here in 1996, is the country’s top aviation show with the next edition scheduled to be held in February 2019. The defence ministry is yet to make a formal announcement on the venue. Speaking to reporters at Hubballi airport, Mr Kumaraswamy said, “Aero India is synonymous with Bengaluru, our city has all the infrastructure required to host the show.

Yet it is being shifted to Lucknow,” he remarked adding in the same breath that he had not received any official communication from the defence ministry in this regard. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to voice his opposition saying the shifting of Aero India from Bengaluru will deepen the wound caused by the recent exit of many defence projects.     

“We urge Ms. @nsitharaman, who is elected to Rajya Sabha from Ktaka,  to first safeguard the interests of this land but neglecting will be an act  of betrayal." Deputy  Chief Minister, Dr G. Parameshwar   demanded that Ms Sitharaman-who incidentally won her Rajya Sabha seat from the state- clarify her stand on the Aero India show.

"Reports of #AeroIndia being moved out of Bengaluru are very unfortunate. We have been India's defence  hub since Independence, but under the NDA we are constantly losing key defence projects and flagship programmes," he tweeted. It may be recalled that speaking at an event in Aligarh on Saturday, Uttar  Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had urged Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to shift the venue of Aero India to Lucknow as it would benefit defence production  units in the state.

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