The phrase ‘pork-barrel politics’ may not be widely used, but the practice is one that all Indians are familiar with. Pampering a certain group, usually one’s own constituents, in order to curry favour with the electorate is accepted as part of common political practice. Now, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh wants Meerut to be developed as a back-up airport to Delhi. Currently, there are no scheduled flights to the Uttar Pradesh city, which has an airstrip owned by the state government.
Before this, former chief minister Mayawati had pushed for an international airport in Greater Noida, also just outside the national capital. Meanwhile, the state tourism department wants an international airport set up in Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.
Given that the state ruling party is a rival of the aviation minister’s grouping, getting Meerut on flight schedules may not be all that easy.