MUMBAI: Anil Ambani, who had always been a prime guest at the Vibrant Gujarat summits ever since the biennial event began in 2003, has been purposefully left out of the event this year to avoid row over Rafael deal, the Congress has said.
"Anil Ambani has always been the most preferred guest at the Vibrant Gujarat. He is a very close friend of Narendra Modi ever since he had described Modi as the potential Prime minister of India in 2005."
Gujarat Congress Chief Arjun Modwada said and added, "However, it appears as if since the problems surrendering Ambani, the government has dropped his name from the invitees."
The list of 19 top corporate CEOs invited to participate in the two-day Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit 2019 scheduled to begin on January 18 at Ahmedabad was released by the state government on Tuesday.
Though the list includes names of Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, Anil Ambani's name has been missing from the list. Other invitees for the event include Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrashekhran, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej, Suzlon Energy CMD Tulsi Tanti, Cadila Health Care Chairman Pankaj Patel, Vice Chairman and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank Uday Kotak, ITC MD Sanjiv Puri, Bharati Enterprises Vice Chairman Rakesh Bharati Mittal, HDFC Chairman Dipak Parekh, SBI Chairman Rajneesh Kumar, to name a few.
Taking a potshot at the Modi government over dropping the name, Modwadia said, "Both the Ambani brother and Adani had been attending the event since very beginning. However, since Anil Ambani's reliance defence has gone bankrupt and there are also agitations going on against him, he might have been dropped out of the list this year".
The government has avoided all industry leaders who could draw even the slightest negative perception, a senior officer in the state government is learnt to have said.