Bal Thackeray would have preferred airport to be named for JRD Tata: Bhujbal

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Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) A day after the Maharashtra government announced that the Navi Mumbai international airport would be named after Bal Thackeray, a senior minister said the late Shiv Sena founder would have preferred it to be named for industrialist JRD Tata, instead.

VBA leader Prakash Ambedkar, on the other hand, said the airport should be named after D B Patil, a late farmer leader from the region.

NCP leader and Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said he had no objection to the name of either Bal Thackeray or D B Patil.

'I have no objection to either Balasaheb's or D B Patil's name. There are issues and they should be resolved amicably,' Bhujbal, a former Shiv Sena leader, told reporters.

But had Bal Thackeray been alive, 'he would not have liked his name to be given to an airport and would have suggested JRD Tata's name,' Bhujbal said.

'Balasaheb had suggested (19th century social reformer) Nana Shankarsheth's name for the VT station in Mumbai,' he said.

The late Sena founder -- chief minister Uddhav Thackeray's father -- was aware of Tata's contribution to the aviation sector and Shakarsheth's contribution to the railways, Bhujbal said.

On demand by politicians from Navi Mumbai and Raigad that D B Patil's name should be given to the airport, he said Patil was also a respected leader who worked for the welfare of projected-affected people in the region.

Elsewhere, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar told reporters that Patil had fought to get adequate compensation for farmers when the state agency CIDCO was acquiring land for the greenfield airport, and it would be appropriate to name it after him. PTI MR KRK KRK

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