‘India Rejected Abhijit Banerjee’s Ideas on NYAY’: Piyush Goyal

“Banerjee is a left leaning individual and people of India rejected his ideology,” he added. 

Updated18 Oct 2019, 03:21 PM IST
2 min read

While addressing media at an event in Maharashtra’s Pune, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that India has rejected the ideas of Nobel Prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee.

The commerce minister was alluding to the ‘NYAY’ scheme which was conceptualised by Banerjee for the Congress party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“Abhijit Banerjee has won the Nobel prize. I congratulate him for that. But we all know about him and his ideology. He is left leaning, He hailed the NYAY scheme but people of India rejected his ideas,” Goyal said. 

CPI(M), TMC and Cong Hit out at Goyal

Parties in West Bengal, cutting across political lines, unequivocally criticised Goyal for his comment against Banerjee and said it reflects the “narrow” mindset of the BJP and the saffron camp.

“The statement by BJP leaders against Abhijit Banerjee, who has not just made Bengal but the entire country proud, is a reflection of the narrow mindset of the BJP and the saffron camp. The lesser they (BJP) speak on Abhijit Banerjee, the better. It only reflects the mean mindedness of the BJP,” a senior TMC leader said.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said that nothing more should be expected “from a party like the BJP”, which believes in “selling off PSUs and privatisation of the Railways and BSNL”.

“It is quite natural that the BJP and leaders like Piyush Goyal won't like Abhijit Banerjee and will try to demean him. The BJP believes in privatisation of PSUs, BSNL, Railways, which is a complete antithesis to what Abhijit Banerjee has been saying. We can only request BJP leaders to refrain from making comments on the pride of India,” said Chakraborty.

Senior Congress leader and MP Pradip Bhattacharya, criticising Goyal, said a Nobel laureate supporting Congress' NYAY scheme reflects that the party was right in taking it up before the Lok Sabha polls.

“Does Abhijit Banerjee supporting the NYAY scheme take away the laurel he has brought to the country by winning the Nobel prize in economics? Such comments only reflect the educational standard of BJP leaders. Abhijit Banerjee supporting NYAY scheme reflects that the Congress was completely right in taking up the scheme for helping the poorest of the poor of the country,” Bhattacharya stated.

Banerjee in the past has been critical of key economic moves of the Modi government including demonetisation and was among the 108 economists and social scientists who signed a letter addressed to the Indian government against tinkering with the baseline year for calculating the GDP and projecting inflated growth figures.

Earlier Prime Minister Modi and various other BJP leaders had congratulated Abhijit Banerjee on winning the Nobel prize.

Abhijit Banerjee won the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer.

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Published: 18 Oct 2019, 09:33 AM IST
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