The Kerala Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution protesting the Central Government decision to award the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd and demanding that the airport management should instead be handed over to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the State Government.
The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) said it was supporting the resolution in the best interests of the people of Kerala, but accused the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of engaging in a ”criminal conspiracy” and betraying the people by selecting a legal consultacy firm which had close ties with Adani Enterprises Ltd for participating in the bid.
The lone MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), O. Rajagopal, remained silent on the issue. His party had opposed it at the all-party meet convened by the State Government on August 20.
The August 19 Central Government decision to award the management of airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd cannot be justified, the Chief Minister said, presenting the resolution in the House. The Centre had pushed ahead with its decision ignoring a State Government offer to match the quote of Adani Enterprises Ltd, he said. The resolution urges the Centre to reconsider its decision in the best interests of the people of Kerala and in the light of opinions put forth by the State Government and the political parties.
Speaking on the occasion, the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that the UDF approved the “spirit of the resolution” and was supporting it in the best interests of the people. He charged the State Government with openly opposing the Adani Group, while covertly assisting it. In selecting a legal consultancy firm close to Adani Enterprises, the government has betrayed the people. This amounted to a criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest, he said.
“It is a fact that a conspiracy took place to help Adani,” Mr. Chennithala said.
Responding to the charges, the Chief Minister said that the legal consultant scarcely had any say in deciding the sum quoted by the State. Its role was confined to vetting the legal aspects alone, Mr Vijayan said. The State Government had selected a prominent legal firm as consultant and they had made it clear that there was no conflict of interest. He termed Mr. Chennithala’s remarks “unfortunate.”
Speaker P. Sreeramakarishnan announced that the resolution was being passed unanimously.