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Sunday, Apr 13, 2003

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No attempt to confront or cuddle Govt: CII

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NEW DELHI, April 12

IN an attempt to set at rest speculations about the deteriorating relations between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the BJP-led NDA Government, the outgoing CII President, Mr Ashok Soota, has made it clear that the chamber was neither adopting a confrontationist approach nor trying to appease the Government.

"The perception that we are having an open confrontation with the Government, whether it be at the Central or State level, is misplaced. We always endeavour to work with the Government. There is never an attempt to confront or appease the Government," Mr Soota said.

On several occasions, CII has been caught offguard when it came to engaging politicians on issues of national as well as business interest. The most recent was a verbal duel with the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narindra Modi, on matters of law and order in the State.

There is no unanimity among the CII members on whether business should engage politicians on issues that concern the society in general.

While a few feel that the business community can rub shoulders with politicians on topics such as law and order, there are some who would prefer to turn a blind eye towards issues coming under the domain of the politicians.

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