Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that India was proud of Abhijit Banerjee for receiving the Nobel Prize for Economics. Modi’s comments came after he met Banerjee at his residence in Delhi.
The prime minister tweeted, “Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours.”
Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/SQFTYgXyBX
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 22, 2019
Banerjee, for his part, said that it was a ‘privilege’ for him to have met the prime minister. He said, “The PM was kind enough to give me quite a lot of time and to talk about his way of thinking about India, which was quite unique.”
#WATCH Delhi: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee speaks after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi (source: PMO) pic.twitter.com/HaY9SBkuIH
— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2019
Modi’s comments assume significance in light of the Nobel laureate facing criticism from the prime minister’s supporters including Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who accused him of having ‘Left-leaning’ thinking. Goyal had recently told reporters, “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.”
BJP supporters on social media too had mocked his Nobel achievement since the globally renowned economist had criticised the economic policies of the central government.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had asked Banerjee to ignore criticism from ‘bigots.’ He had tweeted, “Dear Mr Banerjee, These bigots are blinded by hatred and have no idea what a professional is. You cannot explain it to them, even if you tried for a decade. Please be certain that millions of Indians are proud of your work.
Banerjee and his wife Esther Duflo, the joint winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics, had criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation announcement. The couple have also been critical of Modi government’s other economic policies.