Former Ministerial Adviser Mr Nitin Gupta tells Prachi Panchal he is no longer a member of any political party in Australia, but is still working with former Premier Ted Baillieu on various projects
With Mr Jude Perera MLA set to retire, the ALP pre-selection battle in the marginal seat of Cranbourne is likely to get hot leading up to the November 2018 Victorian state elections.
Recently former Ministerial Adviser Mr Nitin Gupta moved to Cranbourne North as well, speculating that he may give Liberal pre-selection a shot, though he denies any such motive.
Prachi Panchal catches up with Mr Gupta to talk about politics, business and beyond.
Would you give Liberal Pre-selection a shot from Cranbourne?
That is an absolutely NO. I have not renewed my Liberal party membership after Hon. Ted Baillieu resigned as Premier. I am no longer a member of any political party in Australia. For the last 30 months or so I have been travelling a lot overseas, working on various projects, and I am not that up-to-date with recent political developments in Victoria.
I moved to Cranbourne North to be closer to my family members who were living in that area. Plus good schools like Alkira College and Hillsmeade Primary are located in that area.
I am aware that being a marginal seat, the area should see some major announcements from both the major political parties. I am hoping that would have a positive impact on the property prices in the area.
And what would you say about Mr Jude Perera MLA?
Mr Jude Perera has won the marginal seat of Cranbourne four times. So obviously he must have been serving his local community decently enough to get across the line four times.
So do you still support Liberal Party?
I would call myself a politically neutral person now. I am still in touch with former Premier Hon. Ted Baillieu, and working with him on various projects. But I am not into active politics, and do not support any Australian political party.
Do you think that Hon. Ted Baillieu could play an even bigger role in enhancing Australia India relationship?
I fully agree with popular sentiment in the Australian Indian community that Hon. Ted Baillieu should play a bigger role in further enhancing Australian India business and other relationships. It’s really up to the Victorian and Federal government on how best to utilise Mr Baillieu’s immense experience, connections and profile.
Are you still active with any Indian Community Associations?
Since I am mainly focused on growing my business these days, lately I have only been attending networking events organised by Indian Executive Club (IEC), and the Australia India Business Council (AIBC—Victoria).
My current work engagements and regular overseas travel leave very little time for involvement with any other community or political group in Australia.
And what do you have to say about the new AIBC Victoria team?
The new AIBC Victoria team has actually quite impressed everyone—the young guns specially. They have managed to more than double their subscribed memberships. There has been a substantial increase in the number of female members as well.
They have three females in the elected executive, plus many others are heading significant chapters and roundtables. Having others members as Chapters and Roundtables Heads prepares them for bigger roles in future—and that is a very welcome initiative by the new AIBC Victoria team.
They partnered successfully with the RMIT Indian Film Festival, and again would be community partners for Asia TOPA’s upcoming AR Rahman show.
They have already hosted legends like Indian billionaire Tulsi Tanti, and former Premier Hon. Ted Baillieu; and are all set to host Victorian Minister for Trade Hon. Phillip Dalidakis, and Congress politician Priyanka Chaturvedi in the near future. So the new AIBC Victoria team is rocking.
Which stars you would like to see attend the IFFM 2017?
Well there are 70 million plus reasons to invite South Indian superstar and producer Khushboo Sundar to the next edition of IFFM. Khushboo is pretty popular with Victorian Indian community, and has also agreed to promote AFL in India on a volunteer basis. So even more reasons to have her here at the IFFM.
Then another good one would be Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishen. The Uttar Pradesh state government in India led by Australian educated Chief Minister Hon. Akhilesh Yadav recognised the economic potential of Bhojpuri film industry, and has allocated a large parcel of land near Lucknow that would be developed as the Bhojpuri film city. And Ravi is set to play a very significant role in development of that new film precinct.
Now when a totally new film city is being developed from scratch, it may open a whole set of new business opportunities for Victorian film stakeholders. So it makes business sense to invite Ravi to the next edition of IFFM.