The Karnataka government has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over the decision to shift the 22nd edition of Aero India show from Bengaluru to Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asserted that Bengaluru was the proper place for Aero India show, pointing that the Karnataka capital had all infrastructure needed.
Speaking to mediapersons on Sunday, the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) leader said, “Our BJP friends in Karnataka must answer. We also requested the defence minister and told her that Bengaluru is the proper place for the Aero show event and we have all infrastructure in place as well. I don’t know why the Centre took such a decision.”
The remark from the Karnataka Chief Minister came after state Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara accused the central government of taking away key defence projects from the state.
"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 programs. I request @nsitharaman to clarify her stand on the issue," he posted on microblogging site Twitter.
He had attacked the NDA government earlier as well pointing that Karnataka had been conduction Aero India show successfully since 1996. According to Parameshwara, the Centre was “keen on ending Bengaluru’s dominance in the defence sector”.
He had tweeted, “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.”
Though there has not been any official confirmation or formal announcement by the Ministry of Defence in this regard, reports have suggested that the event is likely to be held in Lucknow in October-November.
If this happens, it will be for the first time in 22 years that Aero India show will be hosted outside Bengaluru since its inception in 1996.