New Delhi, Aug 14: Even as the Centre has decided to shift Aero India how from Benguluru and reports suggest that Lucknow is a frontrunner in the race for the venue, the decision has been delayed, said a report on Tuesday. The Indian Express said the government was in favour of the Bakshi Ka Talab airbase in Lucknow as the new venue. (Also read: Kumaraswamy Writes to PM Modi For Holding Aero Show in Bengaluru) Also Read - Eid-Ul-Fitr Moon Sighting 2021 in Lucknow: Markazi Chand Committee Announces Eid on May 14
An official announcement is expected in a week, sources in the Defence Ministry told the daily. They said the government has mentioned Lucknow as the tentative venue to private defence firms. “We will take a collective decision with Indian Air Force, the ministry and the PMP,” an official said. Also Read - Flipkart to Ramp Grocery Ops For Contactless Doorstep Delivery
Meanwhile, this is the first time in its 22-year history that the show would be shifted out of its Bengaluru venue at Yelahanka airbase and ministry sources said the decision to move out met with a lot of resistance as it had sufficient infrastructure. Also Read - Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi Among Top 10 Cities With 24 Per Cent COVID Cases
The other names the PMO came up with were of Naliya airbase in Bhuj (Gujarat) and any airbase in UP, ministry sources added, with IAF leaning towards UP. But, for the IAF, the Hindon airbase near Ghaziabad was the first choice, followed by Kheria airbase in Agra. Bakshi ka Talab airbase in Lucknow did not even figure.
When the name of Lucknow was proposed, IAF said it would cooperate despite technical objections against it, including “lack of depth in the airfield” and “ongoing resurfacing of the runway”. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had publicly asked Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Aligarh past Saturday to shift the show to Lucknow. Meanwhile, shifting the show is being seen as a move to promote UP as a defence manufacturing destination. However, many see this as a political move as the state is critical to BJP’s prospects in the 2019 general elections. Another reason for this argument could be the fact that the government plans to advance the show to November this year instead of February next year.