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Kerala Assembly passes 'unanimous resolution' against leasing Trivandrum airport

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24: The Kerala Assembly Monday passed a "unanimous resolution" demanding the withdrawal of Union Cabinet's decision to lease out the international airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd. Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre should re-examine its decision and the operation and management of the airportbe handed over to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in which the state government has stake.

Kerala

Despite the state government agreeing to give the amount quoted by Adani Enterprises, the Centre's decision to privatise the airport cannot be justified, he said. Though the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, supported the resolution against privatisation of the airport, he slammed the government saying it had "double standards" on the issue.

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He said the government attacked the Adani group in public, but had secretly helped them by consulting a law firm close to it and alleged that there was a "criminal conspiracy". Chennithala also wanted to know why CIAL (Cochin International Airport Ltd), the airport company had not been appointed as consultant.

"A conspiracy has been held to help the Adani group," Chennithala alleged and said, "Keeping in mind the state's interests, the Opposition is supporting the motion and we agree with the spirit of the resolution."

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When the chief minister stood up to speak again, the opposition benches raised voicein protest. Vijayan said the state government's stand on the airport is an "open book". The firm had only done "legal vetting" and had no role in deciding the amount quoted by the state in the bidding process, he said.

After the brief discussion, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan declared that the "resolution has been passed unanimously". However, the BJP, which had organised a protest outside the Assembly demanding the chief minister's resignation in the gold smuggling case, alleged the resolution was not "unanimous" as their lone representative in the House, O Rajagopal was "not allowed to speak".

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