Mumbai: India Inc is against corporate bosses contesting elections to the Lok Sabha as independent candidates, as it feels that only strong candidates from political parties can contribute to having a stable government, crucial for economic development.
Independents like ABN Amro India chief Meera Sanyal entering the fray only eat into votes of strong candidates, weakening the chances of major political parties, a cross- section of leading industrialists have opined.
“Independent candidates take away votes from stronger candidates. They should join a mainstream political party to contest the elections,” noted industrialist and Chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godrej told said.
Godrej was expressing support for 32-year old sitting MP Milind Deora who is contesting the polls for a second time from the prestigious South Mumbai constituency.
Real estate baron Niranjan Hiranandani said party -fielded candidates were “thousand times more effective” than independents.
“I would vote for a Milind Deora over an independent candidate for the amount of work he can do with the party’s backing,” Hiranandani said, adding independents are likely to diminish chances of another candidate winning.
Hiranandani, however, said that he would support an independent candidate if mainstream parties do not put up good candidates.
Seconding the thought, Dighi Port chairman Vijay Kalantri said, “Independents cannot do much in a political scenario. Even if they take up issues, how much difference can they make?”
Striking a discordant note, Arshiya International Chairman Ajay Mittal felt party-fielded candidates have not done much for their constituencies.
Citing Milind Deora, he said, “I have great regard for the Congress and his father (Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora), but I do not think he has done anything substantial in his tenure of last five years as far as traffic is concerned or pollution, poverty alleviation or security.”
HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh lauded Deora for bringing Central funds for Mumbai’s modernisation under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
“Mumbai has been the biggest recipient of these funds. So far, Rs1,800 crore has already been disbursed,” he said, adding that India needs young people like Milind to lead it.
Without indicating his preference for any candidate, Pantaloons CEO Kishore Biyani, said, “Politics in India presently needs those who can provide thought leadership”.