BENGALURU: Amid reports that Aero India may not be held in Bengaluru this year, politicians from Karnataka have been lashing out at the government over the move.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara called the proposed step 'unfortunate' and alleged that the Centre wants to end the dominance of Bengaluru in the defence sector. "Plan to snatch Aero India Show away from Bengaluru in favour of Lucknow is very unfortunate. We have been conducting it successfully since 1996. This comes after HAL was snubbed for Rafael deal. Centre seems to be keen on ending Bengaluru's dominance in the defence sector," he tweeted along with a report which suggested the change of venue for the event.
Congress spokesperson and MP Rajeev Gowda also hit out at the Narendra Modi government claiming that his steps are 'seriously harming India and Karnataka'. "PM Modi took away Rafale from HAL, now Aero India from Bengaluru, hub of India's aerospace industry. Air Force officials say new venue has 'inadequate infrastructure'. Modi's love for spectacle seriously harms India & Karnataka #ModiAgainstKarnataka," he tweeted.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, has said that no decision has been taken yet regarding the venue of Aero India 2019. "There is no announcement made yet on it by the Ministry of Defence. There are cities which are being considered. We will soon decide on the venue and the dates," Sitharaman said.
While Sitharaman stated that the venue has been finalised, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in the joint press conference requested her to continue to let the event be organised in Bengaluru.
Since the inception of the event, the Aero India show has been held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru. However, there have been reports that unlike every year, the event will not be held in Bengaluru this year and may instead take place in Lucknow.
As per a report in The New Indian Express, the event may be held at Bakshi Ka Talab Air Force Station in Lucknow instead of Bengaluru. Reports also suggest that Goa may also be considered as one of the destinations for the show.