Let’s have a T-party, TRS chief tells CEOs

Hyderabad: Adopting a suave avatar, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti president, Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao, on Wednesday gave a pep-talk to industry captains nervous about the state’s bifurcation and promised to roll out the red carpet for them in the proposed Telangana.

Making a power point presentation at the closed-door interactive session organised by the International Market Assessment’s (IMA) India CEO Forum, Mr Chandrasekhar Rao asked top executives of over 100 firms not to be unduly perturbed by the present volatile situation.

“The suspense will end soon,” he said. “Telangana, with its decentralised administrative setup and committed political will, aided with vast wealth of natural resources and human resources, will emerge as strong economic hub of the country. The development will go beyond Hyderabad.”

CEOs of DuPont India, Apollo Hospitals, SKS Micro Finance and dozens of other firms were all attention as Mr Chandrasekhar Rao made a strong pitch for Telangana as an international investment destination.

The TRS leader said Telangana was not a new state but one that was being “reinstated”. “Much before the forceful merger with Andhra region, Telangana already had an atmosphere and economic infrastructure conducive to industrialisation,” he reminded. “Hyderabad as capital of Telangana will continue to build and progress further. There need not be any apprehensions regarding this.”

He cleverly downplayed comparisons with Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand and pointed out that unlike them, Telangana had been exposed to industrialisation right from the Nizam’s era.

The short-sightedness, lethargy and corruption of successive governments had resulted in the State not realising its full industrial potential compared to Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, he said.

“When Tata Motors decided to leave West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh had a golden opportunity to start a major automotive manufacturing unit here but before the elephant (AP government) could even move, the eagle (Gujarat and its Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi) grabbed the opportunity,’’ he said, raising laughter among the CEOs.

When business leaders asked him about the likely situation after December 31, Mr Chandrasekhar Rao said he expected the the Srikrishna Commission to re-launch the process to carve out Telangana.

“If not, a strong agitation would be inevitable,” he said, while urging CEOs to take a long-term view.

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