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UPA woos Ajit Singh, renames Lucknow airport after his father

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: July 17, 2008 19:47 IST
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With an eye to make the Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh happy, the Union Cabinet in a crucial meeting decided to rename the Lucknow airport after his father Chaudhary Charan Singh. This was disclosed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram while briefing media-persons on the developments that took place in Thursday's meeting.

"There have been precedents before, of naming airports after the names of national leaders like the Allahabad airport which has been named after Lal Bahadur Shastri, and the Bhubhaneshwar airport named after Biju Patnaik. Now the government has decided to name the
Lucknow airport as Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport," the minister said.

"The decision will honour the sentiments of the people, a befitting tribute to the late prime minister," Chidambaram said.

When asked which government had recommended renaming the airport, the finance minister said that he would have to check the papers before replying, but notes given to the media did not contain any such reference.

Ajit Singh's party has three members in the present Lok Sabha which would be crucial in the confidence motion to save the government on July 22.

Chidambaram did not give any specific reply on the number of MPs the government has and whether the government would be able to get the necessary support.

When asked if Ajit Singh was happy with the decision, Chidambaram replied: "You can ask Ajit Singh's office."
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Onkar Singh in New Delhi