With only six months to go, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said the Centre is yet to finalise the host state.

After 22 years Aero India may shift out of Bengaluru Ktaka leaders protestAero India 2009, Wikipedia Commons - Vishak Pillai
news Controversy Sunday, August 05, 2018 - 12:49

Will the Aero India biennial air show and aviation exhibition, the pride of Bengaluru since its inception in 1996, be shifted out of the city?

According to reports, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy CM G Parameshwara and several other leaders had requested the Centre to not to move the show out of Bengaluru. But Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman has not given the state any clear answer; “we are yet to decide the venue” is all she said.

 Addressing media persons on Saturday, the Defence Minister claimed that many states had approached the government to host the event and that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will decide and announce the venue soon.

 "We are yet to decide. This is similar to how the Defence Expo was held more than 10 times in New Delhi before being shifted to Goa and recently to Tamil Nadu. A final call will be taken soon,” she said as per The Hindu.

The statement from the Defence Minister came even as HD Kumaraswamy requested the show to be continued in Bengaluru. The possibility of the show shifting out of Bengaluru has also drawn strong reactions from various leaders.

G Parameshwara pointed out that the development follows the centre's decision to exclude Bengaluru's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from the Rafale deal.

Meanwhile, a number of Congress leaders also took to Twitter to highlight that shifting the event from Bengaluru would mark the shift of aerospace industry away from the city.

Minister for Social Welfare Priyank Kharge said that the show was traditionally held in Bengaluru and should continue as before.

Aero India has been held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru since its inception. This year, however, the show might be shifted to a new venue due to 'space constraints'.

Preparations for the grand occasion typically begin a year in advance; but with less than six months to go for the event, there is still no clarity on where the event will be held.

The New Indian Express reported that the Ministry of Defence was considering shifting the spectacle to the Bakshi Ka Talab Air Force Station in Lucknow in spite of the venue being smaller than the Air Force Station in Bengaluru. Goa is also one of the destinations being considered for the show.