Shivamogga airport to be named after Kuvempu, clarifies BS Yediyurappa

The Karnataka government was criticised after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the airport would be named after Yediyurappa.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Feb 13, 2023 | 12:07 AMUpdatedFeb 13, 2023 | 1:36 PM

Yediyurappa

BJP parliamentary board member and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa dropped the curtains on a continuing controversy by announcing that the Karnataka government had decided to name the greenfield Shivamogga airport after Jnanpith awardee Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.

Many people and the Opposition parties had objected to the Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government’s earlier decision on naming the Shivamogga airport, which is yet to be inaugurated, after former chief minister Yediyurappa.

In an event at Shivamogga on 8 February, Chief Minister Bommai said his Cabinet had decided to name the Shivamogga airport after Yediyurappa.

“Yediyurappa had opposed naming the airport after him. The cabinet has decided to propose his name. I hope he will accept it as a token of people’s love for him,” stated Bommai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the newly developed Shivamogga airport on 27 February.

Yediyurappa clears the air

Yediyurappa announced that the state government had decided to name the Shivamogga airport after Rashtrakavi Kuvempu at Shivamogga City on Sunday, 12 February.

He told reporters: “It has been decided to name the Shivamogga airport after Karnataka’s first Jnanpith awardee Kuvempu. He is one of the finest poets India witnessed in the 20th century. He also got the title of Rashtrakavi in 1964.”

The BJP veteran added: “He also gave a state anthem to Karnataka and was a great patriot. So, we have decided to name the Shivamogga airport after Kuvempu. In the upcoming budget session, the government will unanimously take a decision and send the proposal to the Union government.”

He further said: “I wish the prime minister himself will make an announcement as he inaugurates the airport on 27 February. I will only propose this in the budget session and send the proposal to the Union government for clearance.”

Also read: PM Modi woos BS Yediyurappa ahead of Karnataka polls

Snubbed twice?

It is not the first time the Bommai government has come under fire over the decision of naming the Shivamogga airport after Yediyurappa.

In April 2022, Bommai announced that his government had decided to name the airport after Yediyurappa.

That decision was slammed by the public and Opposition parties. After the public outrage, Yediyurappa declined the government’s choice.

The former chief minister was quick to pen a letter to the government requesting the airport be named after “notable people” instead of him.

Modi to inaugurate Shivamogga airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the lotus-shaped Shivamogga airport on 27 February.

The greenfield airport is being constructed over 662.38 acres and at a cost of ₹449 crore. Initially, the project cost was estimated at ₹220 crore.

The airport is located at Sogane, which is nearly 9 km from the district headquarters.

The airport has been designed for the operation of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft, and cargo services are also expected to be launched.

It may also be noted that the Shivamogga airport is expected to have the second-longest runway in Karnataka — 3.2 km — after Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport.

Shivamogga MP BY Raghavendra told South First: “All the works related to the airport are almost complete, and no major work is pending.”

He added: “The prime minister’s official aircraft is likely to be the first plane to land at the Shivamogga airport on 27 February. After the inauguration, flight services to major cities will be launched at the earliest.”

Also read: Not invited to PM Modi’s event, BS Yediyurappa is miffed