Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Monday launched a serious attack on the BJP-led central government and accused it of a scam in tendring five airports' operations to Adani Enterprises.
"Heard the news that Gautam Adani's Adani Enterprises won the bid for five out of six airports by becoming the highest bidder, even after the sale and financial bids were opened by the central government today only. Adani does not know how to operate airports, but he knows Prime Minister Narendra Modi well," said Vijayan at a function.
The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is one of the five airports for which Adani won the bid.
"Adani has no experience in the airport sector and the only thing that is known to all that he knows Modi quite well. The entire bid process appears to be mysterious, if not, how can a single person win all the five bids," said Vijayan.
In the financial bid opened today, Adani had quoted the highest rate for a passenger for the Thiruvananthapuram airport. Adani had quoted Rs 168 per passenger, state-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (KSIDC) Rs 135, followed by GMR at Rs 63.
Vijayan added that, "What happened today was not a bidding but just a drama."
On tendering, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said it would lead to development and more flights to the state capital, jobs in the airport should not be affected.
Other than the Thiruvananthapuram airport, Adani also won bids to ugrade and operate 4 other airports - Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Mangalore which were put out for bids by the Airports Authority of india.
Althought initially against the Central Government’s decision to hand over the international airport to private companies, the Kerala government later agreed to participate in the bid to retain the airport under the ownership of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). The state government then hastily formed a separate company known as the Trivandrum International Airport Limited (TIAL) to bid for operating the international airport, but took part in the bidding under the name of KSIDC.