'Spreading the impression itself can damage the national interest': Nirmala Sitharaman's response to Rahul Bajaj
NEW DELHI: The finance minister has responded to the industrial Rahul Bajaj The statement that India Inc was afraid to criticize Narendra Modi government, saying that spreading the impression itself can damage the national interest.
At the Economic Times' ET Awards event in Mumbai on Saturday night, Bajaj, president of the Bajaj Group, had told Sitharaman, Interior Minister Amit Shah and the rail minister, Piyush Goyal, on the issue that people are afraid of criticizing the policies of the BJP government and added that no one in the business community would talk about this issue.
Shah responded to him at length, saying there is no need to fear about anything. The Narendra Modi government has been criticized continuously in media. But, if you are saying that there is such an environment, we need to work to improve this .
Soon after, Sitharaman tweeted a video of the full interaction at the ET event saying: Home Minister @AmitShah answers on how issues raised by Shri. Rahul Bajaj were addressed. Questions/criticisms are heard and answered/addressed.
Home Minister @AmitShah answers on how issues raised by Shri. Rahul Bajaj were addressed. Questions/criticisms are… https://t.co/wOWrxYhz7u - Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) 1575210616000
It is always a better way to find an answer than to spread one's own impressions that, by gaining traction, can damage the national interest, he said.
His comments obtained varied responses when the opposition Congress took the opportunity to criticize the government.
Bajaj found support in Biocon President Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who said the government treated India Inc as outcasts and does not want to hear any criticism of the economy.
I hope the government will contact India Inc. to find solutions to revive consumption and growth. So far we are all outcasts and the government does not want to hear any criticism of our economy, he tweeted Sunday night.
Congress leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal said: Rahul Bajaj only said: Industry fears to criticize government.
The national interest lies in praising you!
Nirmala Sitaraman: Rahul Bajaj’s criticism “can hurt national interest ..” Rahul Bajaj only said: Industry fear… https://t.co/cjbaDUbVnc - Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) 1575257694000
His party spokesman, Salman Anees Soz, said that only an insecure, incompetent and intolerant government will be lowered enough to characterize government criticism against the national interest.
In defending the government, the Minister of Civil Aviation alleged that there were false narratives.
That Mr Rahul Bajaj could stand up to Sh @AmitShah Ji's face, express himself freely&instigate others to join him clearly indicate that freedom of expression&democratic values are alive&flourishing in India. This is exactly what democracy is all about, I have tweeted.
That Mr Rahul Bajaj could stand up to Sh @AmitShah Ji s face, express himself freely&instigate others to join hi… https://t.co/2xzy2QNN8m - Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) 1575213919000
The Minister of Railways and Commerce, Piyush Goyal, referred to Shah's response to Bajaj's comments to say there is no fear.
See Home Minister @amitshah responded to Rahul Bajaj 's claim that people are afraid to express themselves. After hearing your question I doubt anybody believes this claim that people are afraid, he tweeted.
See Home Minister @amitshah responded to Rahul Bajaj’s claim that people are afraid to express themselves. “After hea… https://t.co/1j0zpPkzP6 - Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) 1575217236000