Criticising Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for his remarks against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra tweeted on Tuesday that the “next NDA government” must “strip” Sen of the Bharat Ratna.
“Amartya Sen says he doesn’t want Modi to be India’s PM. Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna,” Mitra had tweeted on Tuesday.
“Please Dr Sen, don’t peddle your unsolicited comments on India. We now know you as a has-been economist who sells Congress line for a living,” he added.
“Those who are upset with my suggestion about Sen and Bharat Ratna, can you show me examples of others who do party politics after getting BR,” tweeted Mitra. “Bharat Ratna is a jewel of whole country. No BR should speak for or against any party or leader. Sen shouldn’t join Cong poll team.”
Sen was given the Bharat Ratna in 1999 by the then NDA government.
“The Vajpayee government had impartially awarded him for the name he earned for himself through his works at the global level. He (Sen) should not make statements akin to some party’s ‘ratna’... BJP disagrees with his remarks and he (should) not become a tool in the hands of Congress,” said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain on Wednesday. He refrained from commenting further on the issue.
But another party spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi, supported Mitra’s demand.
“Whatever he is saying makes sense because Sen’s credentials are now being questioned by many economists like (Jagdish) Bhagwati and (Arvind) Panagariya... We do not expect the present government to take action (strip Sen of Bharat Ratna), because they are using Sen as a political worker,” said Lekhi.
“It has nothing to do with the party. This is my personal remark,” Mitra told The Indian Express. “His economic ideas may have been relevant in the ’60s and ’70s, during the heydeys of socialism in the country. Sen’s theories are no longer relevant,” he said. “He has been a supporter of Congress’ policies, be it MGNREGA or national food security legislsation.”