According to several members of Ficci and Assocham, a move is on to “arrange” Narendra Modi roadshows in several cities across the country
This may not be on the official agenda of either Ficci or of Assocham but, according to several of their members, a move is on to “arrange” Narendra Modiroadshows of the type that have taken place in Delhi on Monday and at Kolkata on Tuesday in several other cities across the country as well.
“Nonsense, it was just a coincidence. The Kolkata interaction happened a day after the Delhi Ficci Ladies wing meeting only because it couldn’t be held at an earlier date due to an IPL cricket match in the city,” said a senior industrialist on Tuesday.
If that’s a rebuttal of the emerging theorydoing the rounds that India Inc has already started backing Modi as prime ministerial candidate by organising roadshows for him, here are a few in favour. “Narendra Modi promises to bring industries and foreign investments, create jobs and turn India into a power house. We need a true leader, whoever it is. Narendra Modi has started touring the country and interactions with the business community can always be organised. Our affiliated chambers can do so,” said Venugopal Dhoot, past president of Assocham and chairman of Videocon group.
Dhoot, along with Assocham members like Hemant Kanoria and his brother Sunil of Srei Infrastructure , met Modi and his team of officials. City-based businessman Sushil Dhandhania, past president of MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry, confessed: “We want to promote Modi as the next leader of the country. We are approaching Ficci and Assocham to organise these events across the country.” MCCI is affiliated to Assocham.
The point is that industry and business circles’ fascination with Modi is more than proven by the turnout at both Delhi and Kolkata on two consecutive days. At the Ficci meeting, Modi had played the women card; in Kolkata , he showcased Gujarat to drive home a point or two about his mettle as an administrator and a pro-industry , pro-growth leader. The audience at both places just loved it all. Senior corporate executives also seemed to find in Modi a leader who can take India ahead.
“I cannot say that whether Modi will be PM, but I can say that as far as the BJP is concerned he is a fantastic person for the post. He has done a lot for Gujarat and that is visible to everybody,” said Viresh Oberoi, MD and CEO, mjunction Services Ltd. Gaurav Swarup, past president of Indian Chamber of Commerce, also felt the same way. “The business community is impressed by his work and we always talk about it among ourselves ,” he said.
Swarup’s company, Paharpur Cooling Towers, has lined up plans to scale up investments in Gujarat. “We have invested . 50 crore and we will make further investment. The market for our product lies there.” Whether or not the apex chambers are consciously doing it, Modi himself seems to be reaping maximum benefit.
He had come in to Kolkata with a four-member high-power team which took notes about local industrialists who are keen to invest in Gujarat. Apart from Videocon and Srei, others who met Modi’s team were PV Dhobale , executive director of ITC , Rupali Basu, CEO (eastern region) of Apollo Hospitals , Sandipan Chakraborty, managing director of Tata Ryerson, RK Agarwal of Ernst & Young, and Umesh Chowdhary of Titagarh Wagons.