800 businessmen will attend Modi meet in Kolkata: Organisers

Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) With Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi set to address Bengal industry honchos at a special session Tuesday, the organisers said around 800 representatives from the business community would attend the meet.

Modi, widely touted as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) likely prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, will speak at the special session of businessmen in the city on how he transformed Gujarat into one of the fastest growing states in India.

The event has been organised jointly by MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Bharat Chamber of Commerce at a plush five-star hotel of the city.

MCC Chamber of Commerce president Deepak Jalan said a total of 800 businessmen and entrepreneurs would be present for the show, where the high-profile BJP leader was expected to share his strategy and ideas on initiating a ‘Vibrant Growth Model’.

Modi may even hold a closed-door meet with some industry captains following the session.

“A closed-door meet with some industrialists of the city may take place, but it has not been finalised till now,” Jalan told IANS.

Asked how many Bengal industrialists have already sought the closed-door meet with the Gujarat chief minister, he said: “I do not have that list with me now.”

Sheo Shankar Bagaria, head of the city-based Bagaria Group, is one who will attend the much-awaited interaction.

“I am attending the meet. We will be interested to hear from Modi about the structure of his development model and how can it be replicated in West Bengal,” he said.

However, speculation is rife that a number of leading entrepreneurs of the state are likely to skip the show as they are loathe to annoy West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee by being seen with the Gujarat strongman.

While some industrialists have cited advance travel plans, some other big shots are taking shelter behind the oft-used excuse “major commitments”.

C.K.Dhanuka, executive chairman of Dhunseri Petrochem and Tea Ltd., is likely to give Tuesday’s Modi interface a miss.

“I am out of the city. I do not know whether I would be able to attend the session,” Dhanuka told IANS.

Asked whether he does not have any interest to meet the high-profile leader, Dhanuka said, “I am not interested.”

“I am out of the city, so how could I be interested to meet him?” the industrialist countered.

Tata Steel Processing & Distribution Ltd. (TSPDL) managing director Sandipan Chakraborty said he had not got any invitation from the organisers for the event, while Bipin Vohra, chairman and managing director of SPS Group, said he would not be present at the Modi show as he was outside Kolkata.

Vohra, however, said there was no fear psychosis among Bengal entrepreneurs about attending the session or being photographed with the charismatic but controversial leader.

“I don’t think that Bengal Inc is bogged down in such petty politics,” he asserted.

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