Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who got the Tatas Nano post the fracas in West Bengal, is now being accused of wooing away auto majors to shift their expansion projects from Tamil Nadu to Gujarat. The move, which is being finalized after Modi met the majors in Hyderabad, is causing alarm bells to ring in the poll bound Tamil Nadu. The auto companies had made Chennai’s neighborhood Marmalainagar their base, giving it the nickname of “Detroit of India” when AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa was Chief Mini-ster between 2001 to 2006.
A Congress MP, K.S. Alagiri, has petitioned Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, but he has been told that the Center couldn’t do much because Gujarat is offering “better power and labor environment.” Sharma, who spoke to the auto majors, told Alagiri that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi should step in to prevent an exodus from his state to Gujarat.
Alagiri said that “if the ongoing negotiations with Gujarat succeeds, Tamil Nadu would lose at least 50,000 jobs directly and another one lakh jobs indirectly in the ancillary segment.”
Blaming Modi for initiating a rat-race by luring the Tatas to put up the Nano plants there two years ago, he said, the Gujarat Chief Minister would soon urge the software industry to shift from Banglore to Ahmedabad.
“This would only lead to industrial investment getting concentrated in one state, thereby heightening haphazard growth,” he said. In neighboring Kerala, there’s new debate over Modi.
CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan kicked off a controversy after his comment on the “efficiency” of the Chief Minister-cum-Industry Minister of an unnamed state, which was widely interpreted as an endorsement of Modi.
After his rival, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, attacked Modi’s policies in response to Vijayan’s remark, Vijayan came out with a statement that he meant Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi.