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Tug of war over Aero India: UP govt lobbies to host air show, Karnataka miffed; Centre yet to decide

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NEW DELHI: While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is lobbying for Aero India to be held in Lucknow, Karnataka is keeping up its pressure on the Central government not to change the venue of the air show and aviation exhibition from Bengaluru. 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday urged Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to shift the venue of Aero India as it would benefit the defence production in the state. 

Adityanath made the appeal at an event in Aligarh where an announcement of a defence corridor encompassing the Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi and Chitrakoot corridor was made. Sitharaman, her deputy in the ministry, Subhash Bhamre, Uttar Pradesh Industries Minister Satish Mahana and senior officials of the Defence Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government were present at the event.

“I request the defence minister to hold the Aero India show in Uttar Pradesh. We will provide every type of facility. In this context, I request her to announce this at the earliest so that we can proceed with the preparations,” Adityanath said.

However, a miffed Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said that Karnataka was losing key defence projects to other states under the NDA regime. “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.” 

This is not the first time that Parameshwara has lashed out at the government over the proposal. Last week too, he had called the step ‘unfortunate’ and alleged that the Centre wants to end the dominance of Bengaluru in the defence sector. “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,” he had tweeted. 

There have been reports that the biennial event, which was last held in Bengaluru in February 2017, would now be held in October-November and that the Defence Ministry is planning to shift its venue from Bengaluru to Lucknow. The Ministry has not yet made any formal announcement in this regard.

If Aero India is held in Lucknow, it will be the first time in 22 years that the the t will be hosted outside Bengaluru since its inception in 1996. 

Source: Zee News

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