Vibrant Gujarat delegation with local participants at the road show at the Indian Consulate, Melbourne. Photo : SAT/NN.
By Neeraj Nanda in Melbourne
Melbourne, 1 August: “Social unrest’ is not likely to affect business atmosphere in Gujarat, says top bureaucrat Mr. Pankaj Kumar, IAS (1986 batch of Gujarat cadre) and leader of the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ delegation visiting Australia now. This was said one day before the current Chief Minister Anandiben, offered to quit and said she wanted a new leader to be at the Vibrant Gujarat – 2017 summit.
Mr. Pankaj is leading a delegation of prominent officials of top companies in Gujarat and holding road shows in different Australian cities promoting Vibrant Gujarat 2017 to be held in Gandhinagar from 10-13 January next year.
The road show held at the Indian Consulate in Melbourne, saw many impressive power point presentations including ones by Ms Rohini Kapadath, Chair Multicultural Ministerial Advisory Council and Mr. Pankaj himself. A video on Gujarat’s business friendliness was also shown.
During the Q-A session, I asked the lone question about ‘social unrest’ in Gujarat and its effect on the business atmosphere in the state. Mr. Pankaj said, “The Guajarati’s have business in their blood and these things do not effect business.”
The obvious reference was to the recent Patidar (Patel) and Dalit agitations in the state which, many media reports indicate, question the credibility of the current CM to handle them, in the light of coming state elections in Punjab and Utter Pradesh. Though, some suspect, infighting within the ruling party also playing a big role in CM Anandiben’s decision to quit.
Talking to SAT, delegation member Mrs. Manjula Pooja, Kalorex Group said, “your question was relevant, but things are not as bad as it is sought to be projected.”
Earlier, in her address, AIBC National Chair, Sheba Nandkeolyar said, “hope the delegation will form meaningful business alliances in Australia.”
The event was also addressed by Mr. Stephen Manallack, President AIBC Victoria Chapter, H E Ms Manika Jain, Consul General of India in Melbourne, Ms. Amanda Pickrell, Victoria Government and Mr. Deepak Goyal,Analyst KPMG.
- SAT News Service.