The Congress on Sunday attacked the centre over veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj's "atmosphere of fear" remark, saying that his sentiments were shared by people across the country. The party asked the government how it can expect investors when there is no harmony,
At an award function in Mumbai on Saturday, Rahul Bajaj had said people were afraid to criticise the government. The audience at the event included Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The industrialists remarks came a day after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, delivering his valedictory address at a national conclave on the economy, said many industrialists tell him they live in fear of harassment by government authorities.
Asked about Rahul Bajaj's remarks, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters, "What Rahul Bajaj said, is the sentiment shared across the country, across every sector."
The atmosphere of this country has been vitiated though it is not beyond repair because the country has some resilience, he said.
"And if there is no harmony in a society, in a country, in a city, how do you expect investors to come and put their money there. Money only goes where it can thrive, where it can multiply, where it can grow," Mr Khera said.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said it is after ages that "someone from the corporate world, all of whom preach a lot to the opposition, has the courage to speak some truth to power".
"One of the most famous taglines in the Indian corporate ad industry has been 'you just can't beat a Bajaj'. Amit Shah has discovered that you just can't silence a Bajaj as well. Hamara Bajaj ne band baja diya!" senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
Senior Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted, "I have always known Rahul Bajaj to be apolitical, fiercely nationalistic & brutally honest. His remarks yesterday are in line with what MSMEs, bankers & industrialists have been telling me - if business sentiment does not improve soon, the worst is yet to come."