The contest to host the next session of Aero India is heating up as Karnataka Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders have now thrown their weight behind keeping the show in Bengaluru, despite a public request to the Defence Minister by Uttar Pradesh (UP) CM Yogi Adityanath.
The show has been held in Bengaluru since its inception in 1996 but the Centre was looking at other venues for the show’s next session, as reported by The Indian Express.
Among the places that were being considered for the show, including Hindon airbase near Ghaziabad and Naliya airbase in Bhuj, Bakshi Ka Talab airbase in Lucknow has seemingly emerged as the favourite. The UP government has reportedly started preparing the airbase to host the show.
Notwithstanding, Karnataka BJP leader and Union Minister Sadananda Gowda requested the Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman to keep the airshow in Bengaluru.
“It is Bengaluru which contributes to half of aerospace manufacturing in India. We have built the infrastructure necessary to host an event of this scale in Bengaluru. The show also benefited the state in terms of tourism. If need be, we will also meet the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter,” he said.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar has also spoken to the Sitharaman after meeting other state BJP leaders, requesting her not to shift the venue.
Earlier, Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy wrote to the Prime Minister pitching for Bengaluru. “Bengaluru being the hub for defence and aviation majors of the country, is certainly the most suitable place to conduct the show,” he said in the letter.
The latest session of Aero India last year witnessed 5 lakh visitors including 1 lakh business visitors. The show, if held in UP, will help the state build its image as a defence manufacturing hub. One of the two defence manufacturing corridors announced in the last Union Budget is to come up in the Bundelkhand region of UP, with an investment of upto Rs 50,000 crore.
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