The Tamil Nadu government has said it is ready to welcome companies that want to move out of Karnataka amid growing communal tension in the BJP-ruled state.
Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan said the DMK government was keeping a watch on the happenings in Karnataka as every threat has to be taken seriously.
“There is a massive interest (from IT companies wanting to diversify to Tamil Nadu), and we are already in the race. There are people actively raising this with us and our government is working on it,” Thiagarajan told Economic Times.
In recent times, Karnataka has witnessed controversies over banning of wearing hijab to educational institutions, Muslim traders being barred at temples during religious fairs, and calls to boycott ‘halal’ meat.
Also, a start-up founder had complained of bad roads, power cuts among other things in Bengaluru. This prompted Telangana inviting the company to move to Hyderabad. This had led to a war of words between the two states’ political leaders.
Now, Tamil Nadu has joined Telangana in wooing employers from Karnataka.
Thiagarajan also said that the MK Stalin-led DMK government is seeking investments in the state from around the world, and for that they will hold events in various countries in the next six months. According to him, Tamil Nadu has seen a 53% increase in investment.
The BJP is trying to make inroads into Tamil Nadu but has not been successful. Thiagarajan said the state poses the biggest challenge to the expansion of Hindutva as it democratised religion over 100 years ago.
“If Tamil Nadu turns Hindutva, that will be the final nail for our secular democracy and so I don’t think it will ever happen. Tamil Nadu is the most devout state in the country and it is not because of Hindutva but because we democratised religion long ago,” he told ET.
“Anybody can be a trustee in temples here, anybody can build a temple and take care of it. We sorted such issues over a hundred years ago. Recent archaeological findings about our culture are over 3,000 years old and we have always been averse to any form of radicalism,” the minister added.