KCR, Shivakumar trade barbs over purported letter asking Foxconn to shift its Apple AirPod to Karnataka

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday engaged in a spat over a purported letter by the Congress leader to Foxconn chairman to shift Apple AirPods manufacturing unit from Hyderabad to Karnataka.

Rao alleged that Shivakumar wrote to several national and international companies in Hyderabad to shift their factories to Karnataka.

Shivakumar rubbished the charge saying that the letter based on which Rao made the allegation was fake. He also got an FIR registered at Vidhana Soudha police station against the creator of the fake letter.

The Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) today accused the Karnataka government, specifically Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, of conspiring against Hyderabad.

“Karnataka Congress government has hatched a huge conspiracy against Hyderabad. Big conspiracy by Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar to move national and international companies from Hyderabad to Karnataka,” the BRS said in Telugu on its “X” handle.

The BRS alleged that the letters were written to many companies offering incentives to come to Bengaluru.

“DK Shivakumar wrote a letter to the CEO of the company to move the Foxconn company that manufactures Apple AirPods from Hyderabad to ‘Bangalore’. Kannada media released that letter,” the message on “X” said.

The party alleged that Kannada and English media have reported that the conspiracy to move companies is real.

“For elections, they have targeted Hyderabad. The Congress government in Karnataka is plotting to shift industries from Telangana to Bengaluru. Let’s reverse the conspiracies of Congress. Let’s bring back our KCR government which has Telangana Pride,” the BRS said.

The party also posted the purported letter written by DK Shivakumar with a green stamp of the Government of Karnataka on top of it, to Young Liu, the chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Limited (Foxconn Technology Group).

Besides asking Young Liu to invest in Karnataka, the letter read, “On behalf of our government, I propose that you consider relocating the Apple AirPods industry, which you plan to set up in Hyderabad to ‘Bangalore’.”

“This move holds numerous mutual benefits. Not only it will complement the Apple phone manufacturing industry, but it will also leverage the city’s transportation facilities, infrastructure, and available workforce,” it further said.

The letter said several international industries in Hyderabad have expressed interest in relocating to Bengaluru.

“We anticipate forming a friendly government in Telangana soon, assuring that you will encounter no hindrances there. Hence, it would be mutually beneficial for your ancillary industry to make the move as well,” it added.

DK Shivakumar hit back at Mr Rao for his accusations.

“Today the Telangana Chief Minister had a press conference. He is very scared. He has accepted the defeat of his party,” the Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister said.

He said Mr Rao posted a fake letter on the micro-blogging site and commented on it.

“It is a fake letter. My letter has different characteristics. My letter has numbers. My letterhead will not be in green colour. It is an ordinary legislator’s letter which MLAs used to use some 15 years ago. No MLA is using green-coloured letterhead now. I know that,” DK Shivakumar underlined.

According to him, MLAs do not use green-coloured letterhead in the Karnataka assembly.

Seeing a conspiracy of the BRS, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “I don’t know why these BRS people stooped to such a level and the chief minister is commenting on it.”

DK Shivakumar, who is also Congress Karnataka president, said he has asked his secretary to lodge a police complaint at the Vidhana Soudha police station.

“Someone has misused (signature). They have taken my electronic signature and put it on that (letter) requesting Foxconn to be shifted,” he claimed.

“It is very unfortunate but the investigation will go on. It was a fake letter. We have not issued such a type of letter,” he said.

According to DK Shivakumar, many multinational companies on their own have shown a willingness to invest in Karnataka “looking at this strong government”.

In this context, he said he had a meeting with the Toyota executives who wanted to expand their business in Bangalore.

Lamenting the development, he said, “Our Telangana counterpart need not have to be involved in such a small… I am very sorry for that.”