The decision of India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to shift its operations from Lucknow to Noida at a time when they are setting up new centres in other states is bound to cause embarrassment to the BJP leadership.
Uttar Pradesh has sent Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lok Sabha while Lucknow is the parliamentary constituency of Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
It will be a loss of face for Lucknow MP Rajnath Singh if he fails to hold back the Centre in his constituency.
Moreover, the BJP government in UP is barely two months old when its premier IT firm, the only one to showcase to the investors, is ending its 33-year-old operations in Lucknow.
It was after much persuasion that former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had managed to convince Shiv Nadar to set up a training centre of HCL in Lucknow after his government decided to develop Lucknow as a major IT hub. HCL pumped in Rs 1,500 crore to develop the IT city and Shiv Nadar managed to secure commitments from Ratan Tata during his visit to Lucknow in December 2015.
Yogi Adityanath had recently announced the new industrial policy offering sops to investors to set up units in backward regions of the state and it was at his behest that the word “employment” was added to the title before the state cabinet approved the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Investment and Employment Promotion Policy, 2017.
A delegation of TCS employees met the CM at his residence on July 19. Responding quickly, the CM directed the officials to take steps to hold back TCS in Lucknow.
The CM deployed two senior officers of the principal secretary-rank to get in touch with the company and understand its problems. “The state government will make all possible efforts and extend help to TCS to ensure that it stays in Lucknow,” said a senior officer.
“Several rounds of meetings have taken place between the company officials and the state government. All eyes will be on the TCS COO’s meeting with the CM after August 10. TCS will maintain status quo in the meantime,” he said.
UP finance minister Rakesh Agarwal said all efforts will be made to persuade TCS to stay back in Lucknow.
Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma said, “Efforts are being made to stop TCS from leaving Lucknow. They will have to explain the reasons behind their decision as the government has agreed to give them all the facilities they need. We cannot allow job loss in the state capital.”
TCS employees are not satisfied with the response from the office of principal secretary, IT. They said the officials do not understand the gravity of the matter.
“It is a loss for Lucknow’s economy. Lucknow would lose its brand value and no other IT company will here. It will be a body blow to the government’s dream of making Lucknow an IT hub,” they said.