• Saturday, May 18, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Opposition leader reacts to Musk deferring India visit, says ‘new’ PM will welcome him soon

Senior leader Jairam Ramesh said on X that the Tesla chief sensed that PM Narendra Modi would not remain in power and hence postponed his visit.

Elon Musk (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

By: Shubham Ghosh

A SENIOR leader of India’s opposition Congress party has remarked over Tesla chief Elon Musk postponing his visit to India saying the latter has read the writing on the wall and hence took the decision. He was indicating that incumbent prime minister Narendra Modi would lose in the ongoing election in the country.

Jairam Ramesh, a former Indian minister and currently a member of Rajya Sabha or Upper House of the Indian parliamentarian, said in a post on X that a new Indian prime minister will welcome the American entrepreneur soon and under him, the government would promote electric vehicles (EV) “even more aggressively”.

“He too has now read the writing on the wall and decided to put off his visit. INDIA’s PM will welcome him soon, and the INDIA Government will promote electric vehicles even more aggressively,” the 70-year-old Indian National Congress leader said on the social media platform.

Read: Elon Musk postpones India visit, says ‘very heavy Tesla obligations’

Musk deferred his trip to India citing obligations at his EV giant and said he would visit India later in the year.

The visit was much awaited as Tesla could have announced plans to enter the Indian market. He was also set to meet PM Modi.

The entrepreneur has also been expecting to enter the Indian market for Starlink, his satellite internet business.

“Is it true that Elon Musk figured that he’d end up being pulled into BJP Jumla Prachaar and hence he has postponed his trip?” Priyanka Chaturvedi, a leader of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), another opposition leader said on X.

Musk’s two-day trip to India was scheduled to begin on Sunday (21), two days after the South Asian nation’s marathon election process kicked off. During his visit, the Tesla chief was expected to announce an investment of $2-3 billion to set up a factory in India after New Delhi unveiled a policy lowering high tariffs on imported cars if the companies made investments locally, Reuters reported.

Musk is currently in the middle of a major firefighting in his company. On April 5, Reuters reported that the company had stopped development of its long-awaited affordable EV, called the Model 2.

Musk, however, denied the report and has not spoken about the model despite being pressured by investors.

Rohan Patel, a public policy executive in Tesla and one of those leading the company’s India entry plans, also stepped down this week.

The western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat reportedly extended land offers to Tesla for the factory purpose.

“Unfortunately, very heavy Tesla obligations require that the visit to India be delayed, but I do very much look forward to visiting later this year,” Elon Musk said on X.

In June last year, Musk met Modi during the latter’s state visit to the US and said that he would come to India in 2024.

Musk’s last visit to India came in 2007.

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