Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put an end to any controversy on the issue of naming the Chandigarh International Airport after Bhagat Singh.
According to Badal, the “controversies” have been creating an unsavoury situation for all those who take pride in national martyrs.
Referring to the Chandigarh airport as an “international airport at Mohali”, Badal said “a proposal to this effect is already with the Government of India and we all assumed and still remain convinced that considering the massive national following Sardar Bhagat Singh enjoys, no one would even consider opposing the proposal. Any controversy on the matter needs to be snuffed out as quickly as possible”.
In a statement released here Wednesday, Badal said there was a general national consensus on naming the airport after Bhagat Singh and a formal and final decision to this effect should be taken without any further loss of time.
He said all martyrs were worthy of adoration but everyone in the country acknowledged Bhagat Singh as the greatest martyr. “In fact, he is also an international icon, on a par with heroes and martyrs like Martin Luther King (Jr.), Nelson Mandela and Mahatama Gandhi,” said Badal.
Taking a snipe at the Haryana government that has recommended that the airport be named after Mangal Sein, a Jan Sangh leader, Badal said, “It is distasteful and even an affront to all our great national icons even to drag the issue of naming the international airport at Mohali after Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat into a controversy,” said Badal.
The Chief Minister also ridiculed Captain Amarinder Singh for trying to politicise the issue. “Captain Sahib should know that on this issue at least, only silence suits him, because Sardar Bhagat Singh laid down his life fighting the very legacy which Captain Singh represents. Shaheed-e-Azam was martyred by the British imperialists whom the Patiala royalty supported. I personally do not like raking up the pro-British and anti-martyrs legacy which Captain Amarinder Singh had inherited from his predecessors in the Patiala Shahi Gharana,” said the Chief Minister.