Shillong, July 17 (IANS) Days after the Tripura assembly passed a resolution proposing renaming of Agartala airport after Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, a member of the Tripura royal family opposed the move terming it an attempt to ‘play communal politics’.
Maharaja Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman Manikya Bahadur Saturday said he opposed the proposal to rename Agartala airport after Tagore.
He said the airport should be name after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, who had built it. ‘A majority of the people of Tripura feel the airport should be named after the maharaja,’ Pradyot told IANS.
On June 29, the Tripura assembly had passed a unanimous resolution asking the civil aviation ministry to rename the airport after Tagore.
Various organisations in Tripura have asked the state government to rename the airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya and not Tagore.
‘The proposal to rename Agartala airport after Rabindranath Tagore is nothing but an attempt to play communal politics,’ Pradyot told IANS here.
‘Rabindranath is a great poet and we respect him, but I don’t agree with the idea of renaming the airport after him,’ he said.
The Royal family of Tripura has its summer capital known as Tripura Castle in Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya. The castle was built in the early 1920s by Maharaja Bir Bikram.
The Agartala airport or Singerbhil Airport, administered by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is located 15 km southeast of the capital city Agartala. It connects Agartala with New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati.
‘I will meet Governor D.Y. Patil and impress upon him the wishes of the people to name the airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya,’ Pradyot said.
‘As a tribute to the great poet, who had visited Tripura seven times between 1899 and 1926, we propose to rename the Singerbhil Airport after Tagore,’ Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had told the house.
Congress legislator Sudip Roy Barman had moved the proposal in the assembly saying that as part of the celebrations of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, Agartala airport should be renamed after Tagore.