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Telangana Assembly Resented Renaming Airport Terminal After NTR

Updated: December 13, 2014 10:30 am

The Civil Aviation ministry has taking this decision to fulfill the wishes of Telugu Desam Party and NTR’s fans, as the ministry is being held by senior TDP leader and former finance minister in the state government P Ashok Gajapathi Raj in Narendra Modi cabinet

The Telangana assembly strongly resented The Union civil aviation ministry’s directive to the GMR Hyderabad International Authority to name the domestic terminal at the Rajiv Gandhi Internaitonal Airport in Shamshabad after N T Rama Rao.

Both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Councils adopted adopted a resolution on November 21, 2014, requesting the Centre to “continue status quo” and reconsider its decision to restore name of late Chief Minister N T Rama Rao to the domestic terminal at Hyderabad International Airport. However, the Telugu Desam Party opposed the resolution while the Bharatiya Janata Party raised a protest for not considering certain changes it had proposed in the resolution.

The issue rocked the Assembly after the main opposition Congress raised it through an adjournment motion as soon as the day’s proceedings began. “Restoring N T Rama Rao’s name to the domestic terminal symbolises the continuing dominance of Seemaandhra people over Telangana. NTR’s name should be removed and Rajiv Gandhi’s name continued for the airport,” Congress senior member and former minister T Jeevan Reddy said.

Responding to it, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said it was a “sensitive issue” and the Centre’s “unilateral action” was an insult to Telangana. “If they (Centre) had to rename (the domestic terminal), they should have considered the name of a Telangana person. Should not the Centre recognise us ? They could have named it after late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao who was a son of the soil,” the Chief Minister remarked.

Praising Rajiv Gandhi as a leader who sacrificed his life for the nation, Chandrasekhar Rao sought the centre to maintain the status quo. If the centre’s decision to change the name was final they can consider national leaders’ in consultation with State government. Rao said “I am having great respect on NTR but we don’t want Andhra leader’s names in Telangana. When the public are demanding to remove the present names here, it is unfair to have a new name( NTR) for Shamsabad domestic terminal.’ He advised the Andhra Pradesh Government that there are four airports in AP and all of them can be named after NTR. BJP party proposed that Komaram Bheem or PV Narasimha Rao name should be considered if name has to be changed, MIM wanted the airport to be named after Baba Sharfuddin, a Muslim saint who lived in that area.


A heated argument has taken place between TDP MLA Errabelli Dayakar rao and CM KCR over this issue. Errabelli asked him, when there are no objections for naming the International terminal after late Rajiv Gandhi, what is wrong in naming after popular Telugu film artist and TDP founder N T Rama Rao, who served as Chief Minister for the united state.

Speaking on the occasion Congress leader Jeevan Reddy alleged that the Seemandhra domination is still continuing in Telangana. He said NTR was now confined only to Andhra, and hence his legacy could be honored by AP government by naming airports in Vijayawada or Visakhapatnam. The international one was named after Rajiv Gandhi and the domestic one after NTR. After Begumpet airport was closed for commercial traffic and Shamshabad is opened, only Rajiv Gandhi’s name was given to both the terminals.

Fresh row

The Civil Aviation ministry has taking this decision to fulfill the wishes of Telugu Desam Party and NTR’s fans, as the ministry is being held by senior TDP leader and former finance minister in the state government P Ashok Gajapathi Raj in Narendra Modi cabinet. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has confirmed that it has decided to soon rename the domestic terminal at the Shamshabad International Airport after the former chief minister of the united Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao.

The domestic terminal will soon be known as NTR Domestic Terminal. However the international terminal’s name – Rajiv Gandhi International Terminal will remain same as before. When the old airport operating in Begumpet, the domestic terminal was named after NTR and the international terminal after Rajiv Gandhi. Then the TDP government started work on the new international airport in Shamshabad in 2005, and the party wanted to name it after its founder and the state’s hero NTR.

But when the work on the new airport got over, Congress came to power in the state. The airport was then named after Rajiv Gandhi, against the wishes of the TDP and NTR fans. It doesn’t respond to several pleas made by TDP and NTR fans to rename the domestic terminal after NTR.

With TDP minister heading the union aviation ministry it became easy for the party to get their demand fulfilled. Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said recently that the airport would be renamed after NTR.

However, Ashok Gajapathi Raju maintained that this decision was not taken by him or Narendra Modi government. “In fact the decision was taken by the union cabinet and the government way back in 2009 itself on the request of the state government. We are now only simply implementing earlier decision. We will carefully examine the Telanglana assembly resolution, after it reaches the Center”, he maintained.


KCR moved resolution

When Congress protested this decision and raised the issue in the Assembly, Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao wanted Speaker S Madhusudanachari to call a meeting of floor leaders of all parties to decide the course of action and, accordingly, the House was adjourned for ten minutes.

When it reassembled after more than two hours, the Chief Minister proposed to move a resolution on the issue but the TDP raised an objection. However, all other parties favoured the resolution and the Chief Minister moved it.

The resolution said, “The Telangana Legislative Assembly expresses its displeasure over the naming of domestic terminal after NTR by dividing the existing Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad.” It said, “The Assembly objects to the manner in which the Central government took the decision without even consulting the Telangana state government.

“The Assembly resolves requesting the Central government to reconsider its decision and continue status quo,” it said. This is not about NTR. We have due respect for him. But, if at all the Centre wanted to change the name, it should have named it after a Telangana leader,” the Chief Minister said.

He added there were four existing airports in Andhra Pradesh and they could be named after NTR, “We have no objection even if all the four are named after NTR.” Leader of Opposition K Jana Reddy, leaders of YSR Congress, CPM and CPI supported the resolution.

TDP protested

TDP floor leader Errabilli Dayakar Rao opposed it saying NTR’s name for the domestic terminal was “deliberately removed” by the then Congress government headed by YS Rajasekhara Reddy after the new Hyderabad airport was built. “There are many airports in the country that have two names. What is wrong in having two names for the Hyderabad airport as well,” Errabilli questioned and found fault with TRS government for “picking up a confrontation with the Centre” on every issue. The Chief Minister replied that “we are only reque-sting, not confronting.”

While talking on the issue MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi hailed NTR as great person, at the same time criticized the government for neglecting Urdu and English. He asked some intense questions at the same time.” Who is responsible for NTR’s death? It’s really unfair to change the name without consulting the state government. The central government should not take decision without taking suggestions or ideas from the local parties,” he said.

He said the land on which the airport was built belonged to Wakf and it would be “appropriate” to name it after Hazrat Baba. “Remove the names of NTR and Rajiv Gandhi as well,” he said, adding if at all the Centre was keen on a name change, it should first consult the state government and seek a panel of names before finalising one, Akbaruddin added.

Senior BJP legislator and party state president G Kishan Reddy said it was unfortunate that the erstwhile Congress government removed Rama Rao’s name from the domestic terminal. He said Rajiv Gandhi’s name should also be removed as it was not right to have only “one family’s name for everything.” “Of course, this should be done by consulting the state government,” he added.

Kishan Reddy found fault with the Congress governments for naming all the important institutions after the ‘Nehru-Gandhi’ family. He requested the government to resolve to give either Tribal Hero Komuram Bheem or the former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao to the airport. He assured the House that the issue would be taken to the notice of their high command. He protest after the government refused to change the content of the resolution.

While the Congress, AIMIM, BJP, YSRCP, CPM and CPI backed the resolution, TDP opposed it. The Speaker of the House Madhusudanachary, however, declared that the resolution was passed unanimously. After a voice vote, the Speaker announced that the resolution was adopted “unanimously”. Though TDP and BJP MLAs objected to it, their objection did not go into the records.

Congress Questioned Decision

Congress party MLA, Ex-Minister D K Aruna questioned the central government on their decision to change the name of the airport terminal. While speaking in Telangana Assembly Media point, she expressed her anger over the decision to change the name of Rajiv Gandhi international terminal to NTR name. She said that they can keep NTR’s name to nay new airport that are constructed in Andhra Pradesh. She said that there is only one run way in Shamshabad airport and it is not correct to change the name of the terminal.

Congress party deputy leader in legislative council D Srinivas and deputy leader Shabir Ali opined that renaming the airport terminal in the name of NTR is really horrible. They reminded everyone that ex-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life for welfare of the country. He said that removing the name of such great person is really insulting.

They said that the central government is demeaning the Telangana state and its people. All the parties are aiming their weapons on central government for changing the name of the terminal. YSR Congress party floor leader Thati Venkateshwarulu demanded Komaram Bheem name for the Shamshabad airport. After the adjournment of assembly for 10 minutes, while speaking at the media point he said that Komaram Bheem worked for the welfare of SC, ST, BC and minorities without at political alliance. He said that Chief Minister KCR also spoke favorably on the context of Komaram Bheem’s name for the airport terminal. He requested all parties for the unanimous support for Komaram Bheem’s name.

By Ch Narendra from Hyderabad

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