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How can we compete when PMO forces investments into Gujarat : Priyank Kharge

Karnataka IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office is bullying companies into diverting their investments towards Gujarat from other states.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 15:07 IST

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Bengaluru: Karnataka IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office is bullying companies into diverting their investments towards Gujarat from other states.

Priyank said this at a news conference where he was answering questions on Karnataka competing with other states in terms of incentivising investments.

“How do we compete with Modi?” Priyank said.

“We do the work, we go to the US, convince people and get them to Karnataka. But then, a phone call comes from the PMO asking for the investment to be made in Gujarat. Otherwise, they’re threatened with Bulldozer Baba. It’s as if India doesn’t exist without these two states (Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh),” the minister said, recalling that even Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy had raised this issue.

Gujarat is Modi’s home state where the BJP has been in power since 1995. Priyank said he is aware of at least 5-6 instances of companies having to move to Gujarat.

“But I won’t name the companies as it’ll be embarrassing for them,” he said.

“There was one company about which (former Infosys CFO) TV Mohandas Pai spoke...it went from Karnataka to Telangana and then Gujarat. There was another company that came here, but went to Gujarat. How? When the PM himself calls, what can anybody do?” Priyank said.

Priyank also said that incentives alone cannot attract investments. “An ecosystem, comprising human resources and educational institutions, is needed. We moved to research, then innovation and now investment attraction. It took 30 years for us to get here,” he said.

Gujarat-like subsidy

Priyank said he is scheduled to meet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman this week to seek Gujarat-like subsidy for Karnataka.

“We’ll ask her (Nirmala) to give us the same incentive that Gujarat is getting,” Priyank said, referring to the union government providing a 50 per cent subsidy to a semiconductor project in Gujarat.

“Also, we’re trying to see if we can get the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), which is being done only for publicity whereas we’re doing real work here,” he said.

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Published 25 June 2024, 15:07 IST

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