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His father might be the bete noire of Bangalore's IT industry, but H.D. Kumaraswamy is out to mend fences.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 02:09 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer

His father might be the bete noire of Bangalore's IT industry, but H.D. Kumaraswamy is out to mend fences. The chief minister of Karnataka has declared that changing Bangalore's name to Bengaluru is not on top of his agenda — reinstating it as the software capital of the country is.

The problems that Bangalore and its residents face cannot be solved by changing its name, Kumaraswamy pointed out. "I am not bothered about changing the name. My government's aim is to give the people what they want. Change of name is not my priority." The statement could come as some relief to the software sector of the state, which was left aghast by former CM Dharam Singh's proposal to rename the city. Kumaraswamy, however, hastened to add that his government would abide by the people's wishes. "If people wanted to change the name, I would."

On his maiden visit to the capital, Kumaraswamy had more confidence-building measures for the IT sector. He said he would urge telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to reconsider awarding the Fab City project to Hyderabad, and instead press for Bangalore's case.

He also promised to call a meeting of investors in the next 10 to 15 days to get their feedback on how the city needs to revamp its infrastructure. The government would work to provide whatever facilities they needed. He would also ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider setting up the MEA secretariat in the city.

Kumaraswamy also sought to brush aside H.D. Deve Gowda's strained relationship with IT leaders like Infosys mentor N R Narayanamurthy. His father, he said, was not against the IT industry or other investors but was only insisting that all decisions should be according to the law.

The mastermind of the coup which threw the Congress out of power, Kumaraswamy showed no jitters at being the youngest CM of the country. "Inexperience is my asset." Three months, he said, is all he wants to show results and belie fears about the longevity of his government. "I haven't got my father's blessings yet. But the people of Karnataka have blessed me."

On Monday, Kumaraswamy caught up with key Union ministers to press Karnataka's demands.

As he was short of time, he preferred to take "blessings" from senior BJP leaders A B Vajpayee and L K Advani "over the phone" with a pledge to meet them in his next visit.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 02:09 IST