He called French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, who accused Mr Mittal of leaving the country after he announced the closure of two blast furnaces in the north-eastern region of Florange, an “eccentric”, telling an audience of businessmen in Delhi they should avoid “persecution” in Paris and base their European operations in London.
He told a meeting of businessmen in Delhi: “On a day when the sans-culottes appear to have captured the government in Paris and a French minister has been so eccentric as to call for a massive Indian investor to depart from France, I have no hesitation or embarrassment in saying to everyone here ‘venez a Londres, mes amis’.
“Come to London, come to the business capital of the world, the place where 73 Indian firms are listed on the London Stock Exchange, where Indian companies already raise 53% of their international equity, a city that has the largest banking and financial sector anywhere in the world, but which is at the cutting edge of all the great growth businesses of the 21st Century.”
The sans culottes were a radical faction in the French Revolution.
According to the Financial Times, sources close to Mr Mittal, one of the world’s richest men, said he was “extremely shocked” by the attack against the company of which he is the main shareholder.
The newspaper reported that Mr Mittal is meeting François Hollande, the French President, for talks on Tuesday.