In the middle of the controversy surrounding the re-naming of Navi Mumbai international airport in Maharashtra and different names being proposed, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter today to "lighten the mood a bit" by considering the name "Bantacruz."
Engaging in some Santa-Banta humour, actor and singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi had recently joked on Twitter: "Banta sent a letter to the Aviation Minister: Sir, it's my humble request that the new airport in Navi Mumbai should be named 'Bantacruz' since my brother already has one airport named after him. 'Santacruz'!!!"
Mr Puri played along, by quipping: "The Ministry of Civil Aviation receives many requests for naming & renaming of existing & under construction airports. To lighten the mood a bit, I want to inform my friend Banta that his formal proposal has not yet been received by us!"
The Ministry of Civil Aviation receives many requests for naming & renaming of existing & under construction airports.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) June 23, 2021
To lighten the mood a bit, I want to inform my friend Banta that his formal proposal has not yet been received by us!@MoCA_GoIpic.twitter.com/QJLlhfRZiR
Currently under construction, Navi Mumbai International Airport at Ulwe Kopar-Panvel will be the second international airport in Mumbai alongside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
The Maharashtra government and City and Industrial Development Corporation of Mumbai (CIDCO) had announced that the airport will be named after late Bal Thackeray, founder of Shiv Sena party which is part of the ruling alliance in the state.
However, villagers and local politicians, including BJP workers, have been demanding that the upcoming airport be named after late activist DB Patil for which a large gathering has been planned at CIDCO Bhavan in Belapur on Thursday. The Navi Mumbai Police has announced traffic diversions anticipating law and order situation.
Later, to Mr Puri's response to her tweet, Ms Krishnamoorthi replied: "Haha. Stay well and witty sir. Love and respect always."