The Karnataka government has decided to name the new airport at Shivamogga after former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and will send a proposal with the recommendation to the Centre, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the airport on February 27, coinciding with Yediyurappa’s 80th birthday.
Speaking at an event in Shivamogga on Wednesday, Bommai said that the airport work was realised due to Yediyurappa’s contributions. Noting that the veteran BJP leader had expressed his reservations over naming the airport after him, CM Bommai said that the state Cabinet has decided to propose his name. The airport, Bommai added, was completed in 18 months.
The Bommai government’s move is widely seen as an attempt to cajole the senior leader who is said to be unhappy about being sidelined since his ouster as Karnataka chief minister in 2021. His appointment to the BJP Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee last year had done little to address the disgruntlement.
When the state government had first mooted the proposal last year, Yediyurappa had urged CM Bommai not to name it after him saying it would be “inappropriate” and had suggested naming it after any other Karnataka personality.
“I express my gratitude for taking a decision to name the airport after me but there are a lot of people who have served the country and have contributed to the development of the country. I feel naming the airport after me is not a proper decision and request you to revisit the decision and name it after someone who has contributed to the betterment of the nation,” Yediyurappa had said in a letter.
Yediyurappa’s letter had come after the state government’s move had attracted criticism on social media platforms with many suggesting that the airport should be named after literary giants such as Kuvempu, G S Shivarudrappa or U R Ananthamurthy.