Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was not afraid of being seen with industrialists as his intentions were noble, the opposition Congress on Sunday said it would leave it to the Prime Minister’s wisdom whether it is appropriate for him to be photographed with people who have allegedly ripped off the Indian banking system.
“The question is not about capitalists or industrialists. The question is about what kind of capitalists or industrialists? If the Prime Minister feels that it is all right to be photographed with those people, who have allegedly ripped off the Indian banking system and taken off to Antigua, to London or probably disappeared from the face of the earth, then I leave it to the wisdom of the Prime Minister whether he considers appropriate to lend legitimacy and respectability to such people,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
He also took objection to the Prime Minister’s remarks that Mahatma Gandhi never hesitated in staying with Birla family as his intentions were pure.
Addressing a press conference, Tewari said it was astonishing that the Prime Minister compared himself to Mahatma Gandhi.
“It is unfortunate because no politician should compare himself to the Father of the Nation. He said that even Mahatma Gandhi used to carry industrialists with him. Again, the question is what kind of industrialists?” he said adding those industrialists who stood by the Mahatma were ready to sacrifice everything they had for the freedom of India.
“They were not those industrialists, who had gamed the banking system and run away with thousands of crores of public money… so there are industrialists and industrialists and therefore you have to make a distinction between what kind of industrialist or capitalist are you going to patronise,” he said.
He said the Congress was not against industrialists or capitalists but was against crony capitalists and crony capitalism “What we are against is the nexus between the suit and the boot. The suit boot ki sarkar… when the Government functions for the benefit of a few at the cost of many.”
Tewari said the Prime Minister and the government should apologise to the people for misleading them during the 2014 campaign making all sorts of promises, including creation of jobs, “which they have proven themselves to be completely and absolutely incapable of fulfiling.”
Referring to BJP president Amit Shah’s statement — made in an interview to The Indian Express — that the government has given 12 crore Mudra loans, he said: “The question is not 12 crore Mudra loans, the question is how many sustainable livelihoods have those 12 crore Mudra loans created?”