Karnataka: Yediyurappa turns down proposal to name Shivamogga airport after him

Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has once again turned down the proposal to name the newly built Shivamogga airport after him. They have requested the Basavaraj Bommai-led government to name the new airport after prominent Kannada poet Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa, better known by his pen name Kuvempu.

This is the second time in less than a year that it has been considered to be named after the four-time CM, who also hails from Shivamogga. The airport is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 27, which coincides with Yeddyurappa’s 80th birthday.

Yediyurappa said a name proposal for the airport proposal would be sent to the Center after a unanimous decision in the ongoing legislative session of the Karnataka Assembly.

Speaking to the media after the state cabinet passed a resolution to name the airport after him, the senior BJP leader said, “Sivamogga should be named after Kuvempu… He is the greatest poet of the 20th century. “

Kuvempu, who was honored with the title of ‘Rashtrakavi’ in 1964, is also the first Kannadiga to win the Jnanpith award. He also wrote the state anthem of Karnataka – Jaya Bharat Jananiya Tanujate (Victory to you Mother Karnataka, The Daughter of India).

On 10 February, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, speaking at an event in Shivamogga, announced that the state cabinet had decided to propose Yediyurappa’s name for the airport. In April 2022, when it was proposed, Yediyurappa politely declined the offer in a letter to the CM. He had said that naming it after him would not be ‘proper’.

I am deeply moved by Chief Minister Bommai’s decision to name the Shivamogga airport after me. In a letter dated March 24, Yediyurappa had said, “With all humility, I request the government to name the airport after any eminent personality or patriot of Karnataka, which would be a fitting tribute to their contribution.” … My contribution is meager in comparison to theirs. 2022.

The Shivamogga airport being built at Sogane has been a dream of Yediyurappa for several decades and has been pushing for it since 2006, however, the actual work on the airport began in 2020. The project is called the Central Regional Airport Development Programme. UDAAN is the Hindi short form of Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik.

The state-of-the-art airport will have top-notch facilities similar to the Kempegowda Airport in Bengaluru and can also boast of the second longest runway of 3,299 meters after Bengaluru.

Bommai had described the airport’s capabilities saying, “The airport will give a big boost to education, healthcare and industrialization of Shivamogga… It will be an airport of international standards where an Airbus can land.”

Interestingly, it was former Karnataka RDPR (Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department) minister KS Eshwarappa, a Shivamogga MLA and leader often at loggerheads with Yediyurappa, who proposed the latter’s name for the airport.

Other names suggested for the airport included Dr BR Ambedkar, progressive rulers such as Keladi Shivappa Nayaka, Keladi Chennamma and Kadamba dynasty founder Mayuravarma, 12th century social reformer Akka Mahadevi and Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.

Political observers said the move by the ruling BJP to name it after Yediyurappa was an attempt to assimilate the senior leader, who has been asked by the BJP central leadership to step down as CM in 2021. Disgruntled and sidelined since his expulsion, another attempt was made to pacify Lingayat Bahubali by appointing him to the BJP Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee. Since Yediyurappa’s departure, his successor Bommai has been trying hard to keep the rocking boat of the BJP stable.

Ahead of this year’s state elections, such moves are being seen as a way to woo the senior BJP leader, who helped BJP come to power in the south.