“Car roll out - our young people ruled out here sorry,” Gorantla Madhav wrote on the bonnet of a car.

YSRCP MP Madhav protests at Kias Seltos car rollout event in Andhra sparks row
news Politics Sunday, August 11, 2019 - 09:37

What should have been a message to wish Kia Motors on the roll-out of its first made-in-India car turned out to be a note of protest by a Member of Parliament of Andhra Pradesh's ruling party YSR Congress. "Car roll out - our young people ruled out here sorry," wrote Hindupur MP Gorantla Madhav.

The message was written on the bonnet of Seltos, an SUV rolled out of the South Korean auto major's India plant at Erramanchi village in Anantapur district on Aug 8. The MP wrote the comment when the visiting dignitaries attending the Kia launch were asked to write congratulatory messages on the car.

Madhav stoked a row by giving vent to his anguish on an occasion where the auto major was expecting best wishes from the party in power. The picture of the bonnet with the MP's slogan went viral on social media.

The MP also allegedly threatened Kia officials for not inviting him on the dais during the roll-out ceremony. He reportedly warned them that he will make them bow before Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. 

Earlier this month, the police had arrested two local leaders of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) for allegedly threatening Kia officials not providing jobs to their candidates.

The MP's action came amid a row over a Bill passed in Assembly last month for reserving 75% jobs for locals in all industries.

"If YSRCP leaders can threaten an international company like this, what will be the plight of local investors," asked opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Nara Lokesh, son of former chief minister and leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu.

Naidu claims to have brought Kia Motors to Andhra Pradesh while YSRCP leaders have given credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They had targeted Naidu for failing to ensure jobs for locals in Kia plant.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy skipped the event. According to the official statement on Aug 5, the chief minister had accepted the invitation. Jagan, who was in Delhi for two-day visit on Aug 6 and 7, extended it by a day and cancelled the visit to Anantapur.

Madhav later told The Hindu that he protested as the company did not have the courtesy to provide locals with jobs despite the locals giving up their lands and government providing resources.

Kia Motors, which invested $1 billion in the facility, plans to manufacture three lakh cars per year and the production can be ramped up to 7 lakh.

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