Chennai, Oct 31 (UNI) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today claimed that he had obtained the Centre's permission to name the Madurai airport as 'Muthuramalinga Thevar International Airport', but it was opposed by the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
In a statement here, he said he had obtained the permission in 2001, when Mr Sharad Yadav was the Civil Aviation Minister. But Mr Panneerselvam, the then Chief Minister, had written to the Centre, objecting the sanction and hence it had been kept in cold storage.
Dr Swamy said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was now trying to take credit by declaring that he would initiate steps to persuade the Centre to rename the Maduari Airport after the Thevar leader and freedom fighter Muthuramalinga Thevar.
''All that Mr Karunanidhi has to do now is withdraw Mr Panneerselvam's letter of objection,'' he said, adding that once it was withdrawn, the renaming could take place immediately.