State Govt’s move to name airport after former PM sparks controversy
Name game: Adi Guru Shankaracharya or Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Uttarakhand Cabinet’s move to request the Centre to name the Dehradun Airport at Jollygrant after the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has sparked a face-off between the Government and the opposition Congress.
While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is sticking to its guns, defending the move as paying tribute to the leader who was instrumental in the formation of Uttarakhand the Congress leaders, on the other hand, are questioning the move, citing that the proposal sent by the State Government to name the airport after Adi Shankaracharya is still pending with the Centre.
Notably, the State Government has no power to change the name of an airport on its own and it can just send a proposal to the Centre, suggesting the change. It is the prerogative of the Centre to change the name of airports.
The previous Harish Rawat Government had sent a proposal in 2015, suggesting the airport be named after the 8th-century saint and philosopher Adi Guru Shankaracharya. However, the proposal has been hanging fire with the Centre sitting on it. Things are again in the news after the Trivendra Singh Rawat Government sent a fresh request to the Centre, suggesting the airport be named after Vajpayee.
Congress, however, was quick to latch on to the matter and said that the latest move amounted to undermining the role of the revered saint.
The AICC general secretary and the former chief minister Harish Rawat said that his party was not joining issue on the stature of Vajpayee as a leader who commanded respect from across the political spectrum. But Adi Shankaracharya occupies a unique place in the national psyche and particularly in the collective mind of Uttarakhand known as Dev Bhoomi, he said. “The move initiated by my government was meant to boost religious tourism in the State.
I wonder whether the move initiated by the BJP government on the matter would be beneficial to the interests of the state.” the Congress veteran said.
The State Congress chief Pritam Singh said that the ball was now in the court of the Centre. “We are keenly waiting for the Centre’s decision on the matter. We would see who would gain precedence over the other-Adi Guru Shankaracharya or Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” he said.
Rubbishing the Congress’s stance on the issue, the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that the previous Congress Government had dished out scores of declarations most of which were unviable.
Political observers, however, opine that the State Government should not have raked up the issue at this juncture.
“The Congress has successfully made it look like a Shankaracharya Vs Vajpayee issue. Moreover, it has made things more difficult for the Centre to decide. It would be difficult for the Centre to give Vajpayee precedence over Shankaracharya, given the fact that Hindutva is going to be BJP’s principal election pitch for the upcoming general election,” said one of them. read more posts…
Tuesday, 27 November 2018 | PNS | Dehradun—
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