A strong leader among the farmers, workers and landowners of the Navi Mumbai area, DB Patil stood for their land rights. People have been protesting for more than a year against the proposal to name the airport after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray
Last week, hundreds of Project Affected Persons (PAP) marched to the CIDCO headquarters in Belapur, Navi Mumbai, demanding that the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport after local hero D B Patil.
On Wednesday evening, the State Cabinet decided to name the airport as Loknete Swargiya DB Patil International Airport. Earlier on Tuesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray claimed that he was never opposed to the name of Patil and never insisted that the airport be named after Bal Thackeray.
Who was DB Patil?
According to The Indian Express, Dinkar Balu Patil, or DB Patil, was born in Jasai, a village in the Uran taluka of Raigad district. He was associated with the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP).
Coming from a farmer’s family, Patil completed his LLB in 1951. He later contested and won an election to the Kolaba district local board. He was later elected the MLA from Panvel in the Maharashtra Assembly for five terms between 1957 and 1980.
He went on to become the MP from Kolaba in 1977 and 1984. He was also a member of the Legislative Council in 1992. He represented the Opposition in the state Assembly from 1972 to 1977 and then again in 1982-83.
Why is he popular among the people?
When the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) acquired land in the Panvel district in the 1970s and 1980s, Patil led several protests for farmers and landowners. During one such protest in 1984, four farmers were killed that forced the government to bring in the 12.5 per cent developed land scheme for local farmers, which is now applicable across the state, The Indian Express reported.
He also represented the villagers of the Uran area when their land was acquired for Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. He gained popularity among farmers, workers and landowners for protesting for their rights and welfare.
What was the protest related to the Navi Mumbai International Airport?
For almost a year now, sporadic protests have been continuing in Navi Mumbai, Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts against the proposal to name the airport after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
According to The Indian Express, then-Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde had written a letter to the CIDCO in December 2020 asking it to propose that the airport should be name after Bal Thackeray.
The proposal had angered local people as the government did not consult them before deciding the name of the airport after Thackeray.
The Navi Mumbai Airport All Party Action Committee, a group formed by the protesters, had also threatened to stall work on the greenfield airport, if their demand was not met.
With inputs from agencies
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