Bharatiya Janata Party’s Punjab unit president Kamal Sharma, who
mediated between the two state governments on this issue,said on
Wednesday that a consensus had been arrived at between Punjab
and Haryana over the airport’s name.
After fighting over the naming of the international airport at
Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana have finally agreed to name it
after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has agreed to name
the airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh, he said.
In a letter to union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh
Sharma, the BJP leader urged for naming of the airport before
March 23, the martyrdom day of the legendary freedom fighter, a
Punjab BJP statement said here.
Both states earlier agreed to it being named after Bhagat Singh,
but later the BJP government led by Khattar, which assumed office
in October 2014, wrote to the civil aviation ministry to name the
airport after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Mangal Sein.
An upset Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wrote an angry
letter to Modi in December 2015, terming the (Khattar) move as
Mahesh Sharma last year told parliament that the naming of the
airport was delayed as the Punjab and Haryana governments had not
agreed to one name.
Facing criticism, Khattar clarified that his government had no
objection to the airport’s naming after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
When the matter was discussed with us, the name (of Bhagat Singh)
had not been finalised. Since no name was finalised, we proposed
the name of Dr Mangal Sein through a letter. Even if they keep
Bhagat Singh’s name, we have no objection to it,” Khattar said.
“It (airport) can be named after Bhagat Singh. But they (central
government) must ensure that the airport contains the word
‘Chandigarh’ and nothing else,” Khattar said.
The airport’s terminal building is actually in Punjab’s Mohali
town and the Punjab government has put up signages of
‘Mohali airport’.This has upset the Haryana government.
The assemblies of Punjab and Haryana had, in 2009 and 2010
respectively, passed resolutions for naming the airport after
martyr Bhagat Singh. Both states have a 24.5 percent stake
each in the airport terminal project.