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Home > News > Capital Buzz

Virendra Kapoor | May 03, 2003

Fact:The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government does not like the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Last year, Vajpayee, against a practice among prime ministers, refused an invitation to the CII annual meeting.

The industrialists called in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi instead. And she chose that occasion to read a few harsh words against the government from a prepared statement.

Vajpayee, naturally, wasn't pleased. And no one was in doubt that from then on, the government would favour the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the CII's rival.

Last week the government further rubbed salt on the CII's wounds when no minister made himself available to inaugurate its annual session.

The prime minister flat out said no. So the CII approached Finance Minister Jaswant Singh.

Singh kept them on tenterhooks for some time, then saidsorry, he couldn't make it.

Next, the CII sent an SOS toLaw and Justice and Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley. He, too, played hard to get and in the end politely turned down the invite.

In panic, the CII began looking for any minister. But, alas, none was available!

Thus was it at the last minute management guru C K Prahalad was called in.

Now the CII doesn't like the Vajpayee government either.

Why blame the ABVP, Prabhu?

Some years ago, the capital's premier college, St Stephens marked a major milestone by inviting its prominent alumni.

Among those who attended were Congress leaders Natwar Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar. The story goes that when Singh wrote in the distinguished visitors' book, 'I am what I am because of St Stephens' Aiyar scribbled underneath, 'Why blame the college, Natwar?'

The clued-up among the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad recalled that when they got together recently to fete India Today group editor Prabhu Chawla for receiving the Padma Bhushan.

Chawla, who washead of the ABVP in the 1970s, said, 'I learnt my sanskars [manners] from the ABVP.'

Immediately, an old-timer protested, a la Mani Shankar Aiyar: 'Why blame the ABVP, Prabhu?'

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Capital Buzz

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Number of User Comments: 4


A few months from now, Soniaji would rule India. Why fault the CII therefore, for being futuristic? They might also consider opening up links to ...

Posted by R.Sajan

Sub: cii

The PM set the right example. Most of CII come under the purview of the Securitisation Act and the Section 420 of the Indian Penal ...

Posted by shivkumar

Sub: Wrong premise

Just for the record: The Prime Minister did not decline the invitation to the CII annual meeting. The brouhaha arose because Sonia Gandhi was asked ...

Posted by saumitra dasgupta

Sub: CII just forgot.

CII nowadays forgets who is supposed to be calling the shots. Or who is adequately armed to do so ! CII forgets that government means ...

Posted by p chandra



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