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Published On: Fri, Oct 18th, 2019

People Reject Abhijit Banerjee Thinking”: Piyush Goyal

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BBVA-Esther-Duflo-Abhijit-Banerjee-14102019-1024x629NEW DELHI : Despite the jubilant praise and appreciation that has been flowing in for Abhijit Banerjee since his Nobel Prize win for Economics, Union Minister Piyush Goyal hit out at the economist and said the Indian public has rejected his thinking.
The former finance minister was referring to Banerjee’s critical remarks on the dire state of the economy. On the day he was conferred with the prestigious award for his work in fighting global poverty, Banerjee said “the Indian government is on shaky ground and that policies are evaluated based on accepted criteria and looked at as an option”.
“I congratulate Abhijit Banerjee for winning the Nobel Prize. But, you all know about his thinking. It is left-leaning. He had sung praises for NYAY (Congress’s minimum income scheme manifesto promise). The people of India have rejected this thinking,” Goyal said at an event in Pune.
Goyal is among a number of BJP leaders who have criticised the Nobel Prize awardee. BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde had also sardonically described Banerjee as the “man who recommended inflation and tax rates to be raised” in the country.
Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee is “totally Left-leaning” and his theories have been rejected by the people of India, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday, just a beat after congratulating the renowned economist. Abhijit Banerjee, named for the prestigious award along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, has been a strong and vocal critic of the BJP-led government’s economic policies.
Banerjee, an Indian-American, jointly won the Nobel prize in economics along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for the “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. Duflo, a French-American, is Banerjee’s wife. Banerjee was one of those who had conceptualized Congress’s NYAY scheme ahead of Lok Sabha polls 2019.
“Abhijit Banerjee won the Nobel prize, I congratulate him. But you all know what his understanding is. His thinking is totally Left-leaning. He had praised the NYAY scheme effusively, but the people of India totally rejected his thinking,” Piyush Goyal said at a press conference.
The NYAY or Nyuntam Aay Yojana is a minimum income guarantee scheme that headlined the Congress manifesto for the national election earlier this year. The party crashed in the polls. Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet congratulating Mr Banerjee for his Nobel, credited him with the NYAY plan.
“I congratulate Abhijit Banerjee and I feel proud as an Indian, it is not necessary we have to agree with him. Especially when the public has rejected his suggestion,” Mr Goyal said. Dr Banerjee’s views over the years have not endeared him to the ruling party. He has not minced words about demonetization being an ill-considered move.

Recently, Dr Banerjee criticized the state of the economy in India. He said when the economy is going into a “tailspin”, it is the time when “you don’t worry so much about monetary stability and you worry a little bit more about demand. I think demand is a huge problem right now in economy.”
Speaking at the MIT, he said: “There is an enormous fight going on in India about which data is right and the government has a particular view of (that) all data that is inconvenient to it is wrong. But nonetheless, I think that this is something that I think even the government is increasingly recognising that there is a problem. So the economy slowing very very fast. How fast we don’t know, there is this dispute about data but I think fast.”
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Parties in West Bengal cutting across political lines unequivocally criticised Goyal’s comment and said it reflects the “narrow” mindset of BJP and the saffron camp. “The statement by BJP leaders against Abhijit Banerjee, who has not made Bengal but the entire country proud, is a reflection of the narrow mindset of BJP and the saffron camp. The lesser they (BJP) speak on Abhijit Banerjee, the better. It only reflects the mean mindedness of BJP,” a senior TMC leader said.
“It is quite natural that BJP and leaders like Piyush Goyal won’t like Abhijit Banerjee and will try to demean him. Because 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,” Chakraborty said.(With Agency Inputs ).

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