Bengalís big shots to skip Mamataís industry meet

Partha chatterjee

While Narendra Modi's mega industrial summit 'Vibrant Gujarat' drew big names like Ratan Tata, Cyrus Mistry and the Ambani brothers, Mamata Banerjee's 'Bengal Leads' could be yet another damp squib with big ticket participants giving it a miss.

The second edition of Bengal Leads, a three-day industrial summit, begins tomorrow in Haldia. However, several key figures from Bengal have already expressed their inability to attend.

One of them is ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar. "Deveshwar is in Delhi to attend the CII-ITC event today. He is unlikely to attend the Bengal Leads meet tomorrow," an ITC spokesperson said.

Ambuja Realty chairman Harsh Neotia, said, "I am at present studying at Harvard."

Vice-chairman of infrastructure financing company SREI BNP and national vice-president of Assocham Sunil Kanoria will also be absent. "I am in Europe for some urgent work," Kanoria said.

The state government, however, seemed unfazed. "We have sent invites to all major industrial houses of the country. I don't know how many them are coming. But I advise those who are looking for big names that they should look at how much substantial business we are going to get here,'' Partha Chatterjee, minister for commerce and industries, said.

Subhendu Adhikary, Tamluk MP and chairman of Haldia Development Authority which is one of the organisers of the event, said, "We will have to disappoint you if you look for names like Cyrus Mistry or Mukesh Ambani. You are likely to see industrialists from Bengal only. But the main purpose of organising the event is not to rally some big shots. We want to draw attention to a couple of facts: that Haldia has a big potential which is yet to be fully utilised and that it suffers from two problems, the problem of draft at the port and moratorium on new manufacturing industries by the Union ministry of forest and environment,'' Adhikary said.

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