M. Dinesh Varma

CHENNAI: The readiness of Chief Ministers of key States to sink their political differences and share a platform for the cause of nation-building was one of the biggest takeaways from the seventh edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said on Friday.

“The event has shown that it is possible to have one’s political differences and yet cooperate within the framework of development of respective States and the country as a whole,” Mr. Ravi told The Hindu.

He also expressed happiness that several Chief Ministers, including Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy of Andhra Pradesh and Narendra Modi of Gujarat, had taken the effort to mark their presence on the final day’s plenary on ‘Diaspora Interaction with the States.’

The participation of Chief Ministers and key representatives of State Cabinets was a sign of the seriousness that States attached to the diaspora and development and the potential for their inter-linkages.

He said Defence Minister A.K. Antony was keen on participating in the Pravasi event but was forced to rearrange priorities due to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Kerala for inaugurating the Ezhimala Naval Academy.

Mr. Antony had pointed out to him the inevitability of participating in a function to launch one of Kerala’s most delayed prestigious projects in recent times.

Earlier, addressing Non-Resident Keralites, Mr. Ravi said one of the important lessons to learn from the global recession was a reaffirmation of the safety of India’s economy and banking sector.

He expressed confidence that India would survive the recession with its roots in the U.S. as it had tided over earlier economic crises. “NRI funds are safe in India and investments are assured of a decent return.”

Mr. Ravi referred to the Nedumbassery airport as a glowing example of NRI participation in Kerala’s development.