The Kerala government on Friday approached the High Court to stay the Centre’s move to lease out Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises.
The plea was posted for hearing on Monday.
In its plea, the Kerala government has said the decision to lease out the airport under the PPP model for 50 years comes at a time when a petition against it is pending in the Kerala High Court.
On Thursday, an all party meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to prevent the transfer deal from going through at any cost.
Vijayan in the past two days has written twice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking cancellation of the deal. He has demanded that the Kerala government, which runs two airports — Cochin and Kannur, be given the right to operate Thiruvananthapuram airport also.
In Kerala, barring the BJP and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, other political parties, including the CPI-M and the Congress have strongly opposed this deal.
Speaking out against the stand of all the political parties in the state, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said it was strange that the Congress party, which during their time had privatised major airports in the country, was now opposing it here.
State BJP Chief K. Surendran slammed Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran for making the allegations. The state Minister on Thursday said, “This is one of the biggest scams to hand over the country’s first international airport in Independent India to a private party”.
“The Minister is unhappy because they did not get a chance to indulge in corruption over this, and hence are stating baseless things,” said BJP chief Surendran.
In February 2019, the financial bid for privatising five airports in the country was opened and it was won by Adani Enterprises.
The other airports that the Adani firm got are situated in Mangaluru, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Jaipur.
The Kerala government too placed a bid, but the Adani firm won it by quoting a bigger amount. While the Kerala government bid for Rs 135 per passenger, the Adani firm quoted Rs 168.
However, the entire business community has wholeheartedly welcomed the decision of the Centre.