HTLS 2020 Day 3 highlights: Bhupesh Baghel on state of Congress
On Day 3 of Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), defence minister Rajnath Singh, SBI managing director Dinesh Khara and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel spoke on various issues.
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On the third day of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke about various issues, including the LAC stand-off, Bihar Assembly election and coordination between different government departments while speaking to Prashant Jha, Editor, Views at Hindustan Times.
In the second session, State Bank of India Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara spoke to Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC TV-18. He talked about the state of the country's economy during Covid-19 pandemic and the road ahead.
The third and final session of the day was held with Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel. He spoke to Sunetra Choudhury, National Political Editor, Hindustan Times.
HTLS is being held virtually for the first time due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The virtual Summit brings together global leaders to draw a blueprint for what lies ahead for India and the world. This year, the live discussions are spread over four weeks starting November 19, 2020; every Thursday and Friday.
The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit was launched in 2003 to enhance the level of discourse on critical issues, encourage interaction among leaders in important areas and present international quality thought platforms aimed at solutions. The last 17 summits have been outstanding successes with attendance by leaders from India and across the world. The audience comprised of senior politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats, business executives, thinkers, commentators and analysts. Over the years, the summit has become one of India's most prestigious and eagerly awaited fora.
'Who has stopped Congress dissenters from speaking within party?'
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel played down the crisis in Congress, saying the people who have voiced their dissent do not speak on national issues, and just speak about internal issues of the party in public. "Who has stopped Congress dissenters from speaking within party?" he asked.
Bhupesh Baghel on fate of Congress
"When Congress loses, everyone starts asking questions. BJP lost in Jharkhand, but nobody asked them anything. Journalists think we are weak, so launch attacks on us. There were coordination issues in Bihar polls. The party is analysing all this, and you will get the answers. I can't comment on this from here."
'Politics has changed 360 degrees during Covid-19'
"The leaders used to meet people, party workers but everything has been halted due to Covid-19. We never thought about this. It's good that we can hold virtual conferences, thanks to technology. But these changes have been unexpected," said Baghel.
'Entire country suffered during Covid-19, but there was no slowdown in Chhattisgarh'
"The initiatives we took (during Covid-19) benefitted every person in Chhattisgarh. We provides free food, and other things also. Only 26,000 people left, while seven lakh came back. But we never let Covid-19 take a toll on the state's economy. The entire country suffered, but there was no slowdown in Chhattisgarh," said Baghel.
'Covid-19 has been a challenge for us'
Covid-19 has been a challenge for us. PM Modi suddenly announced nationwide lockdown. We held discussions with our officials. The first thing we did was to provide free ration to the poor for three months - this was the firt time a state government did this.
'Lot of positive activity in rural economy'
Talking about the state of the economy, SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara said that he is seeing a lot of positive activity in the rural economy. "Migrant labourers are returning to cities," said Khara.
'Covid-19 will lead to paradigm shift'
"Every such situation (like Covid-19) leads to a scenario where people's habits change. Post this pandemic, virtual meetings and contactless payment has become a reality. I think part of it will stay. We have seen a rapid increase in YONO adoption. The customers tasted and liked the flavour."
'RBI may not be able to cut interest rates in immediate future'
The monetary policy committee of the central bank will adopt an accommodative stance, SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara said.
'Affordable housing sector showing promise'
"We have seen 12% increase in home loan disbursal. The trend might differ in various parts of the country, but there is an uptick in demand, especially in the affordable housing sector. This sector is showing promise going forward."
'Post-Unlock economic activity revival has given hope to many'
"Post-Unlock, every day is a new day. The way economic revival is happening, it is giving hope to many. The evaluation matrix is seeing change, in corporate houses too. People will wait for demand revival."
Dinesh Khara on corporate ownership of banks
"Corporate houses are concerned about funds, and there are some other issues which is why they have not shows much interest in applying for banking license. But I am confident that it will happen by March next year."
SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara on YES Bank fiasco
"When regulations are there, an important aspect is how these are implemented by the management. The corporate governance might not have been implemented properly, which led to YES Bank and other such incidents."
SBI Chairman Dinesh Khara on state of India's economy
"The second quarter of India's economy has seen significant improvement. I'll co-relate it with the unlock situation. Unlocks lead to rise in demands , which leads to improvement in significant improvement."
'Can't rule out two-third majority for BJP in Bengal polls'
Defence minister Rajnath Singh said that the Assembly election in West Bengal next year will be very good for th Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "Can't rule out two-third majority for BJP in Bengal," he said.
First published: Nov 26, 2020 16:57 IST