BJP accuses Abhijit Banerjee, Amartya Sen of using Nobel for political interest

Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee has said he only provided information and his role was not to make NYAY.

Published: 20th October 2019 08:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2019 08:13 PM   |  A+A-

Abhijit Banerjee

Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee won the 2019 Nobel for Economics. (Photo | Twitter)


KOLKATA: Two days after his uncharitable remarks on Nobel winner Abhijit Banerjee generated a storm, BJP national Secretary Rahul Sinha on Sunday again attacked the Nobel Prize for Economics winner, challenging him to implement his economic thoughts even in one village instead of speaking against the Prime Minister or the Union Finance Minister.

Accusing Banerjee of using his Nobel award for his "political interest", Sinha also made indirect references to another Nobel Prize winner in Economics Amartya Sen - a bitter critic of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. Sen won the award in 1998.

"If somebody tries to use the Nobel award in his political interest people don't find it in good taste.

"We have seen it in case of this Nobel prize winner (Banerjee), as also another one (Amartya Sen). We have no objection if they present their thoughts about the country's economy before the people, and there is a debate on it. But if they insult somebody, make filthy utterances about the Prime Minister, that's not decent," Sinha said.

ALSO READ: 'These bigots are blinded by hatred, have no idea what a professional is' - Rahul slams Goyal for Abhijit comment

Sinha reiterated that people have thrown away the NYAY or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Minimum Income Guarantee programme) - the flagship social welfare programme of the Congress in its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto.

"He has worked on NYAY. But what was the income? People of the whole country threw it away.

The scheme, for which the Congress had consulted Banerjee, promised to give Rs 72,000 annually to each of the 20 per cent families in poorest of the poor category. The Congress, however, lost the general election.

Banerjee, however, has said he only provided information and his role was not to make NYAY. He also described the scheme as "not particularly well-designed".

ALSO READ: Piyush Goyal questioning my professionalism: Abhijit Banerjee hits out at BJP leader

Sinha said that instead of speaking against the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, "if he (Banerjee) has any alternative, he should send it to the Finance Minister, to the government".

Sinha dared Banerjee to implement his economic thoughts in at least one village.

"Instead of talking big on economics, making such big claims on economy, let him implement those thoughts in one village. Then we will listen to him," he said.

On Friday, Sinha had remarked that people whose second wives are foreigners are mostly getting the Nobel Prize, and wondered whether that is the criterion for getting the award.

ALSO READ: Union Minister Piyush Goyal calls Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee Left-leaning

Banerjee won the award this year jointly with his second wife Esther Duflo - a French-American economist - and fellow US professor Michael Kremer.

Earlier, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal also cited the failure of NYAY and called Banerjee a "leftist".

Announcing the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the research conducted by Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer has considerably improved the ability to fight global poverty.

Born in Mumbai in 1961, Banerjee is one of the world's leading development economists and is presently working as a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He has, in the past, never minced words in criticising the economic policies and other actions of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. Even after winning the Nobel, Banerjee expressed concern over the condition of the Indian economy.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp