Government Listens To Criticism: Nirmala Sitharaman Amid Row Over Industrialist Rahul Bajaj's Remarks

Government Listens To Criticism: Nirmala Sitharaman Amid Row Over Industrialist Rahul Bajaj

Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is willing to listen to criticism

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in parliament today in the middle of a row over industrialist Rahul Bajaj's question to Home Minister Amit Shah at an event " The government listens to criticism and wants to respond to it".
Nirmala Sitharaman referred to "Amit Shah's reply to an industrialist" as she responded to a debate on the state of the economy.

"I was on the dais. It was with the attitude that we are willing to hear criticism and respond to it, rather than say you can't speak at all. The Home Minister's response shows we are quite happy to hear," the Finance Minister said, referring to criticism of her sharp response to Rahul Bajaj asking Amit Shah about the atmosphere of fear.

Mr Bajaj had at an event organised by The Economic Times newspaper told Mr Shah that people feared criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration for fear of reprisals.

"...You are doing good work but if we criticise you there is no confidence that you will appreciate that," Mr Bajaj said. "In UPA 2 we could criticise anyone," he added.

Mr Shah replied: "There's no need to be afraid of anything. The Narendra Modi government has been criticised continuously in media. But if you are saying that there is such an environment, we need to work to improve this."

But several BJP leaders, including Ms Sitharaman, took to twitter to criticise the question.

"Home Minister Amit Shah  answers on how issues raised by Shri. Rahul Bajaj were addressed. Questions/criticisms are heard and answered/addressed. Always a better way to seek an answer than spreading one's own impressions which, on gaining traction, can hurt national interest," she tweeted.

She said in Lok Sabha today that she had responded in an appropriate way. "If any industry leader... says truth to power... good. Let more speak?"

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