Telangana's Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Wednesday slammed the Centre for overlooking Hyderabad and Bengaluru to set up a defence industrial production corridor due to "petty political and geo-political considerations".
The minister said he had urged then Defence Minister to set up defence industrial production corridor between Hyderabad and Bengaluru as the two cities were ideal for such a project.
KT Rama Rao said he was told that the Centre decided to set up one defence production corridor in Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh and another in Chennai. "I was a bit baffled and wanted to know the grounds for this decision. They gave some reason which made no sense," he said.
"Unfortunately, it appears to me, in matters of national importance and even in matters of strategic sectors like defence and aerospace, sometimes regional compulsions outweigh nationally important locations," he said.
The minister was speaking at Defence Conclave organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Hyderabad.
He said one Large OEM in defence sector that he was trying to bring to Hyderabad, was asked by the government of India to consider either Nagpur, Gujarat or Rajasthan. "There was no logic in it. They were interested in locations other than Hyderabad and Bengaluru."
"It is a travesty that matters of investment coming to India in important sectors like defence have to be weighed on political or geo-political considerations," he said.
He said the Centre should reconsider its strategy as it plans to spend billions of dollars to encourage defence production capabilities in the country.
"We have to raise above petty politics or geo-political equations. It can't be about winning an election someway or the other. It can't be Uttar Pradesh because it is the largest state and it has 70 parliamentary seats. It has to be because a specific region makes sense for its strong ecosystem and already well-built establishment," he said.