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'He Knows What You All Are Trying to Do': Abhijit Banerjee’s 'Warning' for Media After Meeting With PM Modi

The Nobel Laureate has been facing criticism from leaders of the ruling dispensation, with Union minister Piyush Goyal calling him a 'Left-leaning professor' whose views had been rejected by the people of the country.

News18.com

Updated:October 22, 2019, 5:03 PM IST
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'He Knows What You All Are Trying to Do': Abhijit Banerjee’s 'Warning' for Media After Meeting With PM Modi
Abhijit Banerjee, one of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, at a news conference at the MIT on October 14.

New Delhi: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the meeting with him by cracking a joke “about how the media is trying to trap me into saying anti-Modi things”.

Banerjee, who won the Economics Nobel with two others for the ‘experimental approach towards alleviating global poverty’, met PM Modi on Tuesday for a “healthy and extensive interaction”.

“He [Modi] has been watching TV; he has been watching you guys, he knows what you are trying to do,” Banerjee said in the backdrop of a row over his comments on the economic slowdown.

The Nobel Laureate has been facing criticism from leaders of the ruling dispensation, with Union minister Piyush Goyal calling him a “Left-leaning professor” whose views had been rejected by the people of the country. This was followed by BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha asking if the Nobel was awarded only to those whose second wives are foreigners.

The Congress had hit out at the criticism, calling it arrogance on the part of the BJP. Notably, Banerjee had worked with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on NYAY — the party’s flagship welfare scheme — but the party failed to win the 2019 elections.

Banerjee, an India-born American professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has won Nobel in economics, jointly with wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

The 58-year-old has said that the banking crisis in India is serious and frightening and the economic slowdown poses some very serious concerns. He has repeatedly urged that the government's focus should be on reviving consumer demand and putting more money in the hands of people to spend.

Earlier, just after the meeting, he had said that the PM talked about his way of thinking about India. "The PM was kind enough to give me quite a lot of time and to talk a lot about his way of thinking about India, which was quite unique. Because one hears about policies but one rarely hears about the thinking behind them," he said.

PM Modi tweeted that he had an "excellent meeting" with the Nobel winner. "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," said PM Modi.

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