In a swift damage control exercise, Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh on Thursday said he would persuade Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy to withdraw his resignation as the Bangalore International Airport Ltd chairman.
"I will contact Murthy if possible today itself and I will ask him to change his mind," he told reporters in Bangalore. Murthy resigned from the post, expressing anguish over JD (S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's remarks questioning his contribution to the airport project.
Singh said, "I will sort out this issue. I will also ascertain the reasons for his resignation, because Murthy has contributed immensely to the IT and biotechnology sectors in the country."
Murthy's resignation would not pose any setback for future investments, Singh asserted, saying, "With all odds investors are still coming to Karnataka and our IT exports have registered a 28 per cent growth. Nothing will happen. It is only the media, which has been nurturing fears. I have no fears," Singh said, dismissing suggestions that the development would have an impact on investments.
He said he received Murthy's resignation on Thursday afternoon.
Singh dismissed perception that his coalition government partner JDS was opposed to the IT and BT sectors remarking, "JDS is also supporting these sectors". Singh recalled that at a recent meeting attended by Murthy, Gowda commended the contribution of the IT sector to the state and also that of Murthy. However, Gowda wrote him a letter demanding that land allotment requests by IT firms be subjected to scrutiny, he said, adding, "since we are running a coalition government, it is my duty to hear the opinion of JDS also."
Singh replied in the negative when asked whether the government's move to set up a committee to look into the request for land by IT companies has triggered off a confrontation between the government and IT sector.