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Economist Abhijit Banerjee Complains to Twitter as Flurry of Posts from Fake Accounts Stir Chaos

By: Sujit Nath


Last Updated: May 06, 2020, 15:47 IST

File photo of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee.

File photo of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee.

The Nobel laureate clarified that he is not on Twitter and that the microblogging site has still not taken down the fake accounts.

Kolkata: After a number of fake accounts under his name created confusion over the Nobel laureate’s statements, Abhijit Banerjee registered a complaint with Twitter claiming that he has been ‘impersonated’ on the American microblogging site on Tuesday.

“I am being impersonated on Twitter. There are now at least two different fake accounts, which include ‘AbhijitBanerj’ and ‘AbhijitBanrjee’. They have not been shut down yet. Let me clear one thing that I am not on Twitter. I lodged a complaint with Twitter and hope they will do the needful,” Banerjee told News18.

Abhijit Banerjee was jointly awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with French-American Esther Duflo, his wife, and Michael Kremer of Harvard University for their “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.

In a video conference with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, the economist suggested methods to help poor fight the after-effects of coronavirus lockdown, adding that in situations like the one created by the pandemic, a nationalised Aadhaar card would have been beneficial for migrant workers as it would have given them access to free ration.

"I think nationalisation of the Aadhaar would have been great now, especially for migrants. They could have gone to a PDS store in Mumbai and demanded ration. But right now they cannot do that. There is also, for example, NREGA. The migrants cannot demand employment in Mumbai, there is no NREGA there," he said during a conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The economist also suggested the introduction of a temporary ration system for those in need and a suspension of other ration cards for the time being.

Asked about the steps needed to pull the Indian economy from the impact of the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus, Banerjee said, "Many countries have introduced a stimulus package for small businesses. We are yet to take concrete steps towards it. Moratorium on debt payments is a good move, but we need to do more."

Spending is the easiest way to revive the economy amid the Covid-19 crisis, he told the Congress leader, adding that a direct transfer to people to spend was a good way to ensure this.

Recently, in April Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee roped in Banerjee to help the state come out of the coronavirus-induced slump.
first published:May 06, 2020, 11:59 IST
last updated:May 06, 2020, 15:47 IST