Badal snubs Sidhu over land for Amritsar airport

December 18th, 2008 - 11:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyChandigarh, Dec 18 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday snubbed alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) MP Navjot Singh Sidhu for demanding that the government acquire 1,000 acres of land for major expansion plans of the Amritsar international airport.”This government cannot act according to what Navjot Sidhu says,” Badal told reporters in a curt reply to the demand of the MP from Amritsar.

The reaction from Badal came a day after Sidhu submitted a memorandum to him, demanding that 1,000 acres of land be acquired for expansion of the airport.

The airport, which was on a high till early this year with several international and domestic flights from there, is facing troubled times with leading airlines announcing that flights would be stopped.

One major reason for stopping flights is the high cost of operating from the airport - nearly double that at the Delhi airport - and lack of other facilities.

Sidhu’s memorandum about the slow pace of work of the airport’s expansion and terming it as “non-visionary” seemed to have irked Badal to react. But the chief minister said that he held Sidhu, a young politician and former Indian cricketer, in regard.

“The 42 acres of land sought by the Airports Authority of India for the airport’s expansion will be acquired and handed over shortly,” Badal said.

The Akali Dal and the BJP have an alliance government in the state led by Badal.

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