Bangalore Chamber of Commerce where industry leaders like N.R. Narayana Murthy, executive chairman of Infosys, waited for him. Interestingly, key persons at that meeting joked nervously that, “the chief minister does not like us.”
Industrialists say that the chief minister is unwilling to face up to the reality that the road to investment in interior Karnataka is through Bangalore, one of India’s few globally recognised brands that even US President Barack Obama frequently alludes to. And unless the government creates infrastructure, such as good roads from Bangalore to the interiors, the rest of Karnataka hardly makes for a compelling investment story. The chief minister’s goal of promoting inclusive growth is logically irrefutable, but other investment hotspots are urgently needed to spur growth and wider access to education, healthcare and jobs. Whether Siddaramaiah likes it or not, the message is, Wake Up, Sid, get a development vision and power regionwide growth with Bangalore as the engine.
In mid-July, the South Korean steel giant, POSCO, pulled out of a Rs 32,000 crore steel plant project in northern Karnataka citing serious land acquisition challenges. It was the very foreign investment that Siddaramaiah’s predecessor had crowed about. Chief ministers before him have gone on countless foreign tours to snare investors, and most of these have yielded zilch. The Dalian trip may turn out to be one of those. The hope, however, is that Siddaramaiah’s maiden visit to China would stir a change in the chief minister and help him make the connection between a better Bangalore and a prosperous Karnataka. If not, Siddaramaiah may be the chief minister to preside over the demise of economic growth in Karnataka.
firstname.lastname@example.orgKarnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah exchanged his signature spotless white dhoti-kurta for a striking bandhgala on a visit last week to the Chinese port city of Dalian to attend the World Economic Forum. As reported, he was the first Congress party chief minister to set foot in China in many years.
During the course of his travels the chief minister would have got plenty of opportunity to swing through China’s shiny airports, imposing highways and striking public transport systems. He would