Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI (M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Wednesday, 6 March demanded a probe into how Adani Enterprises won the bid to operate five international airports, including Thiruvananthapuram, reported IANS.
The Adani group had won the bid to operate five out of six airports that were put for privatisation by the central government, a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had said on Monday, 25 February, reported PTI.
Balakrishnan, the party’s Kerala state Secretary, told the media in Thiruvananthapuram that it was quite strange that the group was able to win the rights to all the five airports.
"It is true that this was given through a tender and that's why we are doubtful if the tendering process was foolproof... how come Adani won in all the five. We demand that a complete probe should be announced as this is nothing but a ripoff," he told IANS.
"We have decided to launch a strong protest and in it we request the (Congress-led) UDF and also the BJP to join, as all of us can unitedly fight against this high-handed corrupt deal. This has taken place just before the upcoming polls and hence it is not a proper tendering process, it's a corrupt deal," he added.
Kodiyeri also accused Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor of playing a role in ensuring that Adani wins the bid for the airport.
Last week after Adani won the rights, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the airport in Thiruvananthapuram not to be handed over to Adani and alleging that it was a scam.
In the letter, Pinarayi demanded Modi's immediate intervention to see that the state-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd-led company, formed especially for operating the airport, be given the running of the Thiruvananthapuram Airport.
Adani Group’s Bids ‘Very Aggressive’
Adanis were the highest bidder for Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Jaipur airports, a senior official had said on Monday, adding the bid for the Guwahati airport would be opened on Tuesday.
AAI chose the winner on the basis of “monthly per-passenger fee”.
The official said the bids put by Adani group were "very aggressive" as compared to other bidders.
The five airports would be handed over to Adani group after completion of formalities, the AAI official said.
A total of 32 technical bids were received from 10 companies to operate six airports that are currently under AAI’s management.
In November last year, the government had cleared a proposal for managing six AAI-run airports on public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports received seven bids each. Lucknow and Guwahati received six bids each. Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram received three bids each.
The move to manage the six airports on PPP basis, according to AAI, is part of an initiative to provide world-class infrastructure and services to stakeholders.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS.)