Mohandas Pai’s post on Hyderabad elicits rebuke from Priyank Kharge

Mohandas Pai’s criticism came on the day the city hosted the ‘Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS)’, the annual global tech event promoted and organised by the state government.
Mohandas Pai (left) and Priyank Kharge (right)
Mohandas Pai (left) and Priyank Kharge (right)
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Former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai ignited a debate on whether Hyderabad could surpass Bengaluru as the premier IT hub. The social media post, which called attention to the alleged neglect of Bengaluru by successive governments, drew a swift response from Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and IT Priyank Kharge.

Mohandas Pai had shared a post on X (previously Twitter) tagging Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar asking, “Will Hyderabad Dethrone Bangalore’s IT Status? Continued neglect of Bengaluru by successive govts over the last 10 years has led to this. Hope govt shows more energy to improve the city.” This came on the day the city hosted the Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS), the annual global tech event promoted and organised by the state government.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, November 29 Priyank Kharge refuted Mohandas's statements,as being part of a misinformation campaign. He said that no company negotiating with the Karnataka government had left the state. “Not a single company who has come to the negotiation table of the Government of Karnataka, has left Karnataka. This has become a habit for some people to speak taking an anti-Karnataka stand,” Priyank said. 

Priyank further argued that investments in multiple cities were common practice. He said, “Is Amazon not here? Are other companies not here? Tell which company has left Bengaluru? Some companies invest in Mumbai and Hyderabad too along with Bengaluru. Let him show a single company that has left after discussing or signing an agreement with us.” 

Priyank also defended the government's approach, stressing that they consult industry experts, including those like Mohandas Pai who were part of previous vision groups set up by BJP government. He said, “Wasn’t he (Mohandas) part of the vision groups (earlier)? What happened then? I don’t want to blame individuals, but it’s not right if wrong information goes to the public.” 

Mohandas had earlier criticised Karnataka government's handling of Kaynes Technology's plans to establish a Rs 2,800 crore Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) plant in Mysuru. “Sad day for Karnataka. We have driven away one of our best because from Mysore because of lethargy and lack of response, why are we driving away our industry? How will jobs come…..Karnataka should not lose out (sic),” he had said. 

Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development MB Patil had refuted Mohandas's statements, saying that there is not even a minor lapse by the government in responding to the company’s proposal.

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