Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today echoed what his party colleague and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on industrialist Gautam Adani’s announcement to invest Rs 65,000 crore in the northern state over the next five years.
Mr Gehlot had welcomed Mr Adani, Asia’s richest man, at the Invest Rajasthan Summit earlier this week, where the industrialist announced his group’s business plans in the state.
Mr Tharoor, at an NDTV exclusive townhall in Mumbai on Sunday on the Congress President election, was asked a question by the audience on his take on India’s economic development. The questions also alluded to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s frequent attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegedly helping on big businessmen.
Mr Tharoor replied, “The real Congress says, and Mr Gehlot has said it, that if somebody is willing to come and invest in my state, create jobs, bring up revenue, of course I want it. That was my attitude when Mr Adani bid for the airport in Thiruvananthapuram. He won fair and square and we should cooperate with him. And that’s certainly what happened in my own constituency.”
“Look, I am somebody in the Congress party, who has very much welcomed the liberalisation of 1991. I am very much in favour of business in our country not being overregulated as they are right now. But at the same time I want the revenues coming from this to be available to the government to distribute to those who are marginalised and left out,” Mr Tharoor said.
On the constant attacks by the opposition party on “Adani and Ambani” getting alleged favourable treatment from PM Modi, Mr Tharoor said, “I am not allergic to Adanis, Ambanis or any other Anis who are willing to serve the interest of the people of my country, by investing in my country, generating jobs for Indians.”
In Rajasthan, even as Mr Gehlot sat next to Mr Adani during the business event, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi continued to tweet allegations about loans being waived for “capitalist friends” of the government while others were living in debt.