Saturday, August 22, 2020

Here's why Shashi Tharoor bats for private takeover of Thiruvananthapuram airport

At a time when the opposition Congress-led UDF and the ruling LDF in Kerala have united against the Centre's decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's opposition to the Kerala government's view had raised many eyebrows. In response to a detailed Twitter thread posted by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on why the lease to run the airport for 50 years went to Adani, Tharoor said that the Kerala government "chose to participate in the bidding, under rules they agreed and after losing in the fair process, started questioning the very game they had chosen to play."

Further defending his stand, Tharoor tweeted on Saturday that the point was "about expanding the potential of the airport to its fullest, thereby providing a better facility to businesses and locals and attracting investors".

His tweet came in response to Kerala's finance minister Thomas Isaac taking a jibe at the Thiruvananthapuram MP over the issue on Thursday. "Shashi Tharoor is so eloquent against primitive accumulation of British in India, but so vocal for primitive accumulation of corporates in contemporary India. When we have a successful model of CIAL in Kochi, why does Tharoor consider Adani indispensable for Thiruvananthapuram?" Isaac had tweeted.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Tharoor also quoted the examples of how the Airport Authority of India was getting thousands of crores from private firms for operating the Mumbai and Delhi Airports, and added that Kerala stands to benefit from the business investment an optimally utilised airport would attract. "The spinoff benefits in employment and income generation will also increase the state government's tax revenues," he added.

A political slugfest has erupted between the Centre and the Kerala state government over the privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala. The Centre has decided to lease out the operation, management and development of the airport to Adani Enterprises for a period of 50 years — a move being vehemently opposed by the state government.
22/08/20 The Week

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