Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman, Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, chairman of the Reliance Group Anil Ambani were some of the big names who were conspicuous with their absence on the inaugural day of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit Friday.
Gadkari, who is the Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, posted on Twitter pictures of him and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurating phase two of Ramjhula railway overbridge in Nagpur on Friday afternoon. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel addressed the first session of a seminar on ‘Port-Led Development and Strategies to Establish India as the Transshipment Hub of Asia’ that Gadkari was supposed to address.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was supposed to speak at a seminar on ‘Make in India’, which was addressed by State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel. The welcome address for the session on ‘Ease of Doing Business, Make In India achievements, Make in India 2.0’ of which Sitharaman was expected to be a part of, was supposed to be delivered by M K Das, Principal Secretary of Gujarat Industries. Instead, the welcome speech was delivered by Mamta Verma, Commissioner of Gujarat Industries.
Sitharaman was also supposed to deliver the keynote speech at the seminar on ‘Opportunities for Industry in Defence and Aerospace’ which was announced at a press meet ahead of the summit. Instead, Secretary, Defence Production Ajay Kumar delivered the keynote.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda’s name has also gone missing from the final schedule for the Vibrant Gujarat health seminar to be held on Saturday. That he would deliver the keynote speech at the seminar was announced at a press conference by the state health department last month.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been attending Vibrant Summits since the past several years, is away to the US for medical reasons.
Among the prominent industrialists, Ratan Tata remained absent. Tata Motors Chairman N Chandrasekharan, however, attended the summit and spoke at the inauguration. Anand Mahindra of the Mahindra & Mahindra group also did not attend the summit this year.