GANDHINAGAR: Cooperative federalism, not competitive federalism – this was the picture that emerged from the hardsell of chief ministers of different states who tried to entice overseas Indians with new investment opportunities and the promise of ease of doing business.
Speaking to overseas Indians on the last day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas January 9, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh underlined that there is no competitive federalism in India and pointed out that Indian federalism is different from many other models worldwide.
Shedding partisan bias, Rahnath Singh exhorted expat Indians who trooped from different continents and countries to the PBD 2015 to take advantage of what different states have to offer and make their contribution to the ongoing transformation of India.
The convention hall in Mahatma Mandir, the venue of the 13th PBD, was awash with officials and marketing executives representing around 10 states, trying to charm NRIs and PIOs with their promotional pitch.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was easily the star of the special session of chief ministers as the unassuming leader of Madhya Pradesh said that he has created a single door, and not just a window to welcome investors.
The tech-savvy Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu made a detailed power-point presentation on emerging opportunities in his state. Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy called for improving the poor working conditions of Keralites in the Gulf and called for online voting system.
Rajnath Singh was lush in his praise of the Indian diaspora. “We are proud of you. Whatever you have achieved today is because of your hard work, determination and skills,” Singh said to thunderous applause.
Improvising on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaugural speech when he said that India was not just looking for dollars and pounds from NRIs, Rajnath Singh also stressed that his government was not just looking at investments by the people of Indian origin living across the world but also wants to have deeper ties with the Indian Diaspora.
“Please don’t feel that we are looking only at investments from you…it is not ‘dhan ka rishta’ that we are looking, but a ‘man ka rishta’,” Singh said. “We want to create a self-esteemed, self-reliant and a strong India, and cannot achieve the objective without your contribution,” he said.
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