Protests in Rajya Sabha over renaming of Hyderabad airport

New Delhi


The Rajya Sabha Wednesday saw protest over renaming of Hyderabad airport even as the government explained that the international airport continues to be named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"Both N.T. Rama Rao and Rajiv Gandhi are respected leaders...The international airport in Hyderabad continues to be named after Rajiv Gandhi," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

"Domestic airport was originally named after NTR and that continues to be so," he added.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju stood to offer an explanation, but was not allowed to speak by protesting Congress members. "Rajiv Gandhi's name has not been changed..." Raju said.

As Congress leaders continued their protest, Jaitley said: "Rajiv Gandhi's name remains, demand is that NTR's name should be removed, which is not acceptable."

This agitated Congress MPs and some members trooped to near the chairman's podium, raising slogans.

In the din, Jaitley presented some new ministers to the house and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari attempted to take up the question hour, which has been shifted in the upper house from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

However, as the ruckus continued, the chairman adjourned the house till 12.30 p.m., and when it met, again till 1 p.m. - IANS