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Industry captains hail Rahul’s ‘from heart’ maiden speech

Rahul Gandhi's maiden interaction with industry leaders after he became the Congress vice president was impressive and touched broader political issues, India Inc said.

'It was a very good interaction. It sets the tone for future interaction. He spoke very broadly about various issues,' said S Gopalakrishnan, president designate, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Addressing the annual general meeting of the CII, Gandhi called for inclusive growth and closer cooperation between industry and the government. However, he did not touch upon the major macro-economic problems like inflation, slowdown in growth and ballooning current account and fiscal deficits.

Gopalakrishnan said the interaction was up to the expectations of the industry leaders. 'This was his first engagement with the business community and he met the industry's expectation,' he said.

Confederation of Indian Industrypresident Adi Godrej said Gandhi's ideas were brilliant and they should inspire industry and the government to work in unison.

'Rahul Gandhi was requested to address the plenary session on his general views which he did in a superb manner, and I think it was very well accepted by the audience,' Godrej said.

During an hour-long interaction, 42-year-old Rahul Gandhi, who became the vice president of the 127-year-old Congress Party 19 January, spoke on many issues and answered questions from business leaders with confidence.

Reacting to the speech, Bajaj Group Chairman Rahul Bajaj said that the industrialists were captivated by Gandhi's interaction.

'I don't think he limited himself to deficit or inflation. He is not in the government, that is not his job. He is concerned about the people. He talked of harmony, compassion and working together,' Bajaj said.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said the speech was rare and inspirational.  'It was an outstanding speech... He understood importance of technology and inclusion, which gives us hope as future leader,' Mittal said.
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