Coming out in support of industrialist Rahul Bajaj who told top Union ministers in their face on Sunday that people were afraid of criticising the Modi government, Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has said that the government must be open to suggestions and criticism instead of listening to only those it believes are supporters.
She questioned as to why any criticism of the government was viewed as being "anti-national" or "anti-government".
"India Inc was relieved that Mr Bajaj asked the question. I don't think anyone should attack Mr Bajaj. We should get on with reviving the economy. Let's not start making it a political discourse," Shaw said in an interview with NDTV.
On Sunday, in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal at an event, Rahul Bajaj said: “Nobody from our industrialist friends will speak, I will say openly. An environment will have to be created. When UPA II was in power, we could criticise anyone. We don’t have the confidence that you will appreciate if we criticise you openly.”
(Read here what all Rahul Bajaj said: https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/rahul-bajaj-we-are-scared-to-criticise-modi-govt)
After Bajaj had spoken, Amit Shah replied that the Modi government was not afraid of any criticism and people were free to speak.
“Nobody must be scared of our government. Everybody is free to speak. We are not afraid of any criticism because our government has worked in a transparent manner,” Shah said as he attributed the “perception of atmosphere of fear” largely to the “bad press”.
Shaw described Rahul Bajaj as a strong voice of corporate India and said Amit Shah's reply was the "right response to hear" from the government. However, she said it was unfortunate that a positive response from Amit shah was followed by statements by various BJP leaders "which are not correct".
Bajaj was trolled by BJP supporters on social media after his remarks. (Read here: https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/bjps-it-cell-and-troll-army-go-after-industrialist-rahul-bajaj)
Shaw had also tweeted on Sunday that the India Inc has been a “pariah” for the government and the “government does not want to hear any criticism of our economy”.
"There is an economic slowdown. They must listen to multiple voices and multiple quarters to look at what is possible. Right now, I believe they are dealing with us at arm's length,” she told NDTV.
"Multiple factors are affecting our economy - low consumption, investment climate not improving and the impact on jobs…This cloud will lift when PM Narendra Modi, Finance Minister and Commerce Minister actually call a bunch of CEOs and have a roundtable discussion on the economy. It is very important for them to build that bridge between corporate India and the government,” she stressed.