Tesla In Karnataka? New Minister HD Kumaraswamy Says 'I Am Not Selfish'

Mr Kumaraswamy’s party won two seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi:

In his first stint as a Union Minister, HD Kumaraswamy, a two-time chief minister from Karnataka, has said that he is “not a selfish man” and his focus will now be not just his home state, but the entire country.

Taking charge of the Steel and Heavy Industries portfolios on Tuesday, the Janata Dal Secular leader was asked by a reporter if a company like Tesla would be interested in setting up a factory in Karnataka.

“Yes, it is there. We will try”, Mr Kumaraswamy said, before adding, “My concern is not limited to Karnataka, it is the entire country’s growth. We will work accordingly. I am not a selfish man. We will work sincerely for the country’s growth.”

The JDS leader took oath as a Cabinet minister despite his party winning only two Lok Sabha seats. It had contested the elections in an alliance with the BJP and, between them, the parties clinched 19 of Karnataka’s 28 constituencies even though the Congress is in power in the state. 

The parties were also fighting the fallout of videos showing Prajwal Revanna – who is Mr Kumaraswamy’s nephew and the grandson of former Prime Minister Deve Gowda – allegedly sexually assaulting multiple women. Revanna was a sitting MP and candidate from the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency but lost this time. 

Congratulatory Call

Days after the election results were declared, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he was looking forward to his companies doing “exciting work” in India.

“Congratulations @narendramodi on your victory in the world’s largest democratic elections! Looking forward to my companies doing exciting work in India,” Mr Musk had said on Friday.

PM Modi had replied: “Appreciate your greetings @elonmusk. The talented Indian youth, our demography, predictable policies and stable democratic polity will continue to provide the business environment for all our partners.”

Tesla’s entry into India has been a bit of a will it-won’t affair. Mr Musk, who is also the founder of SpaceX, had met PM Modi in the US in June last year and described himself as a “fan”. 

“I am confident Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible,” he had said.

In March, the Indian government had announced a new electric vehicle policy which would cut taxes by as much as 85 per cent on the import of a certain number of electric vehicles to “attract investments by reputed global manufacturers” like Tesla.