A row on the naming Chandigarh airport has intensified with the BJP-led Manohar Lal Khattar’s government of Haryana suggesting it be named after the RSS leader Mangal Sein.
Among those who want the airport to be named after the renowned freedom fighter Bhagat Singh are the BJP’s own ally and the Punjab chief minister, Prakash Singh Badal, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the Aam Aadmy Party in Punjab.
Expressing his anger, Badal recently wrote to Prime Minister Modi, “”(We) 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.”
AAP MP from Punjab, Bhagwant Mann said, “This is an insult to our martyrs. Shaheed Bhagat Singh is close to the hearts of not just people in Punjab but throughout the country. It will be very shameful if the Chandigarh airport is named after an RSS worker. I had proposed Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s name for Bharat Ratna in the parliament because he is truly our Ratna.”
Hooda supported the idea of launching an initiative in Sein’s name, he suggested not to name the airport after him.
He said, “If Khattar wants to starts an educational institution in the name of Mangal Sein, I will support that. But, his proposals to change replace Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s name with the RSS leader will not be acceptable.”
The Chandigarh Airport, which got a new terminal building, including an international terminal was inaugurated by Modi on 11 September without the facility bearing a name. The terminal building is in Punjab’s Mohali town.
Khattar had originally supported the idea of naming the airport after Bhagat Singh, but what prompted him to change his mind is not known.