New Delhi [India], Aug 21 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging for a reconsideration of the privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport exposed the double standard of the State government as private airports already exist in Kannur and Calicut, Union minister V Muraleedharan said on Thursday.
"It is the double standards of the government of Kerala that becomes very clear by this letter because on one hand, the Kerala government have these private airports at Calicut and Kannur with a mere 32.5% & 30.16% stakes for the State," the Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs told ANI.
"So when you can have private airports then why can't one have airports to be operated, managed, and developed by private agencies. So this is a double standard that the government of Kerala has on this issue," he said.
The minister alleged that it was a ploy to steer the discussion away from gold smuggling case in Kerala and its connection with the Chief Minister's Office.
"So they want to create another controversy and take the discussion away," he said.
In a series of tweets today, Muraleedharan said, "Why deprive people of TVPM their right to better services at the Airport? Development of TVPM Airport on PPP model will be a game-changer. It will bring efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise & professionalism, which will lead to the overall development of the city."
"The LDF's opposition to development is not new. It started with Computers, Privatisation and spread to many areas and let people suffer. People of Kerala cannot be deprived of progress and development just because a regressive regime is in power at @CMOKerala," he said in another tweet.
Attacking Kerala Chief Minister in another tweet, he said, "@vijayanpinarayi is worried that he won't be able to support #Goldsmugglers & won't be able to make arbitrary/ backdoor appointments of his own. @CMOKerala is opposing because he will not be able to outsource shady consultancies like he has been doing all along."
The MoS also questioned whether Communist Party of India (Marxist) received kickbacks from private players running airports.
"@vijayanpinarayi even opposed the CAG audit @airportCNN (Kannur International Airport). Did @cpimspeak receive any kickbacks from Pvt players running these airports?" the MoS tweeted.
After the Cabinet approved the proposal for leasing out Thiruvananthapuram airport through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing the inability of the state government to offer co-operation in this regard and urged his intervention "so that the decision is reconsidered."
"In view of the unilateral decision taken by the Government of India without giving credence to the cogent arguments put forward by the State Government, it will be difficult for us to offer co-operation to the implementation of the decision, which is against the wishes of the people of the State," read the letter by Vijayan.
"I request your goodself to intervene at this stage so that the decision taken now is reconsidered," he stated. (ANI)