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Airport Privatisation: Congress Wants Kerala Govt to Clarify Involvement of Firm Close to Adani Group

Chennithala said the government should bring a clarity in the matter before introducing a resolution on this issue in the Assembly on August 24.(PTI)

Chennithala said the government should bring a clarity in the matter before introducing a resolution on this issue in the Assembly on August 24.(PTI)

Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports - Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati -- through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.

Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday asked the LDF government to clarify the alleged involvement of a firm close to the Adani Group in the state's bidding process for privatisation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

The CPI(M)-led state government and the opposition Congress has opposed the Union Cabinet's approval to lease the Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises through PPPfor a period of 50 years.

"Reports of the state government seeking legal advice on the bidding process from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a firm owned by a close relative of Adani, raise concerns. If true,this shows a nexus between the state government and the Adani Group," Chennithala said in a statement. Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports — Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati — through the PPP modelafter a competitive bidding process in February 2019.

"Adani Group was one of the major bidders for the airport along with the state government. The fact that a single firm gave legal advice to both, the state and the Adani Group, and the latter winning the bid raise serious questions on proprietary and integrity.

The LDF government must explain how they got hired despite this conflict," the Leader of Opposition said. Chennithala also said the Opposition stood by the state on the airport privatisation matter, adding the government should bring a clarity in the matter before introducing a resolution on this issue in the Assembly on August 24.

An all-party-meeting was called by the state government, during which all parties except the BJP had opposed the privatisation of the airport and decided to pass are solution on August 24, when the Assembly will be convened for a day to pass the Kerala Finance Bill. Meanwhile, BJP state unit said the state government opposes the Adani group for airport but was in favour of themfor legal help.

BJP state chief K Surendra told the media that he will sit on a fast on August 23 seeking the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for "harbouring anti-national elements." The BJP, in a release said, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will inaugurate the fast virtually. The fast will begin at 10 am and end at 5 pm.


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