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Cong rubs it in: Gowda is chief guest for IT fair

In a move to placate his coalition partner, Janata Dal Secular leader, H D Deve Gowda, and reduce his animosity with the IT industry in Bang...

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore |
October 25, 2005

In a move to placate his coalition partner, Janata Dal Secular leader, H D Deve Gowda, and reduce his animosity with the IT industry in Bangalore, Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh has named Gowda as chief guest for the state’s premier IT event ‘‘Bangalore IT.in’’ scheduled to begin Wednesday.

This comes at a time when Gowda’s tirade against Infosys Technologies chairman N R Narayana Murthy has left the government’s relation with the IT sector in tatters. Infosys is one of the companies participating in the event.

Originally scheduled to be thrown open by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the event will now be inaugurated by Karnataka governor T N Chaturvedi.

‘‘The decision to have Mr Deve Gowda as the chief guest was taken by the Chief Minister a few days ago. These decisions are his prerogative,’’ said state IT secretary Shankarlinge Gowda. Sources in the government said the decision was taken to reduce the bad blood between the JDS leader and the industry.

The three-day event, the run-up to which has been marked by boycott threats by trade bodies angered by the government’s apathy to infrastructure, is still under a cloud with one of the trade bodies—the 15-member Bangalore Forum for IT—staying out.

The BFIT, comprising largely of MNC IT companies like Philips Software, Sun Microsystems, Novell, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Bosch had after talks with the government in September announced that they would participate in the event if the state government would include a session on infrastructure. The state government has however not responded to the request and the BFIT will now only consider participation in the 2006 edition of Bangalore IT.in, said Philips Software CEO and BFIT spokesperson Bob Hoekstra.

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