For a change, Chief Minister puts musical abilities of prospective investors to test

At a business summit organised by the State government a year ago, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had put several industrialists in a spot by questioning them individually about whether they were going to invest in the State. This time around it was the musical abilities of some that were put to test by her at the inauguration of the second edition of the summit on Tuesday, calling them on stage with a request to sing.

On concluding her address at Bengal Leads in Haldia in the State’s Purba Medinipur district, Ms. Banerjee said she wanted the industrialists to sing. She then picked out C.K. Dhanuka of the Dhunseri group and Sanjiv Goenka of the RP Sanjiv Goenka group and asked them to come on stage.

Mr. Dhanuka sang ‘Ae mere pyare watan’ from the 1961 film Kabuliwala with Mr. Goenka for company before they were joined by senior Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay. All the dignitaries on the dais then sang Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s song Ekla chalo re.

The event was brought to a close with the singing of the national anthem led by Ms. Banerjee herself.

A year ago, Ms. Banerjee asked several industrialists and foreign diplomats point-blank whether or not they would invest in the State.

“Mr. Jindal, when will the industry come up? We have done everything, now you take matters forward,” she told Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Steel. The company’s steel plant is expected to come up at over 4,000 acres of land at Salboni in Paschim Medinipur district.

In the pattern of a roll-call she had gone from person to person, in one instance forgetting the name of the managing director of Patton India, Sanjay Budhia and calling him “Mr. Patton Tank” instead. She had similarly called out the representatives of foreign embassies asking them to advise companies to invest in the State.