The business community in Kerala has upped the ante against the state government's questioning of the Airports Authority of India (AAI)'s move to grant the rights of operation, management and development of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises. Besides the state government moving the high court against the AAI, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, state secretary of the CPI (M), on Wednesday said the Adani group should back out of the 50-year lease contract. Within hours of the CPI(M) top brass's statement, as many as 35 assorted industry and trade organisations, including CII and G-Tech ( Group of Technopark companies), have come together to place a front-page ad on a leading Malayalam daily on Thursday, unequivocally dubbing \u201cthe airport privatisation\u201d allegation as a \u201cmyth\u201d. The undersigned for the ad is an apex outfit of various trade organisations that calls itself 'Awake Trivandrum'. The bid of the state government's KSIDC (fee of Rs 135\/passenger) was far behind the bid of Adani Enterprises (that quoted Rs 168) in the tenders. The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is one of the five airports for which Adani has won the bid. Also read | Modi\u2019s Rs 6,000 PM-KISAN gift to small farmers may cut poverty by 20%, Kirit Parikh explains \u201cA private investor brings fresh capital to expand the facilities and flights, so that the passenger revenues will grow and even the places around the airport will indirectly benefit. When a state undertakes a service industry, historically, it is likely to go on loss,\u201d says the ad. It goes on "to request the Kerala government to utilise the opportunity in the best manner\u201d. Balakrishnan on Wednesday argued that the Kerala government, which gave 635 acre free to the airport, should be allowed to run it. He expressed fears that since Adani Group is building a deep sea port at Vizhinjam nearby, they might convert the Trivandrum airport into a cargo airport. \u201cIt is indeed no positive signal that the state government is contesting infrastructure investors in the state,\u201d P Ganesh, former chairman, CII State Council, told FE. \u201cThe airport is in sore need of expansion and an operator can effectively market it and ramp up the flight connectivity. If Adani Group can address it, why not?\u201d he asks. Considering Kerala's high billing in world tourism charts and regular traffic from over 20 lakh expat families, the state's airports need to be competitive with Delhi or Bengaluru airports. Read | Lost your things in Uber ride? Here\u2019s how to get it back Shashi Tharoor, MP, had earlier opined that if the bid was won by the KSIDC and later transferred to CIAL, the entity that runs the Kochi airport, this could result in \u201ca very damaging conflict of interest\u201d. He had suggested that the state government could engage all stakeholders more amicably. Last week, the state government had moved a petition at the Kerala High Court, pleading that it had paid Rs 324 crore in compensation for the land acquired for the development of Thiruvananthapuram airport and if the airport is privatised, the government is entitled to have this amount treated as its equity. \u201cIn fact, this is no privatisation issue,\u201d says PH Kurian, former additional chief secretary of Kerala. \u201cAdani has picked up only the operation and management lease contract. And even if it is privatisation, it would be dead against the spirit of investment promotion to derate the investor,\u201d quips Kurian, who headed the state\u2019s investment promotion machinery for decades.