Kerala moves HC against handing over Trivandrum airport to Adani

The stage is set for a full-fledged political battle as all parties jump into the controversy

The Airport Authority of India’s decision to hand over the operation and control of the Trivandrum International Airport to the Adani Group came in during the pendency of the case. Photo: Twitter

Giving a clear indication of its legal preparedness, the Kerala government has filed a petition in the High Court seeking a stay on the Centre’s decision to hand over the control and management of Trivandrum International Airport to the Adani Group.

In an interim application filed in the High Court on Friday (August 21), the government asked for a stay, arguing that since the matter is subjudice now, it is not in public interest to hand over the airport’s control to Adani.

The writ petition filed by the state government last year was set aside by the High Court citing that the writ was not maintainable and the government had to go to the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution as it a dispute between the Union government and the state. The Supreme Court had sent the matter back to the High Court for consideration and was pending since. The Airport Authority of India’s decision to hand over the operation and control of the airport to the Adani Group came in during the pendency of the case.

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Related news: Kerala opposes Centre’s decision on Trivandrum Airport

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is ready to launch a full-fledged political campaign against BJP and Congress in this matter. The BJP in Kerala is on the backfoot as it was openly against the privatisation earlier. Now the saffron party is struggling to explain how this privatisation would be good for the state. On the other hand, CPI(M) finds it as an opportunity to attack the Congress as well, trying to capitalise on the differences among Congress leaders in Kerala.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has tweeted that he continues to support privatisation of the airport. “My position on the airport has been consistent since before the elections. I am not a politician who says one thing to the voters and something else afterwards for political convenience. Had my colleagues consulted me before taking a negative stand, I would have explained my views to them,” the tweet said.

On the other hand, opposition leader and Congressman Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC President Mullappilly Ramachandran have opposed the move and demanded the Union government to review its decision. This is a good opportunity for CPI(M) to attack the Congress.

Rajya Sabha member Elamaram Karim has served a privilege notice against Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, accusing him of misleading the House by ‘deliberately giving false information regarding the process of leasing out the Airport’.

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said his party would send two lakh emails to the Union government asking it to revoke the decision.

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