Mumbai: Reacting to Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj’s wisecrack that the coronavirus lockdown ended up flattening the GDP curve rather than the COVID-19 curve, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday that Bajaj was not an economist or a COVID-19 expert.
Two days ago, in a chat with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Rajiv Bajaj had said that it is a herculean task to open up the economy and called for taking fear out of people’s minds through a “very clear, aligned narrative” from none other than the prime minister. “We tried to implement a hard lockdown but it was porous. So I think we have ended up with the worst of both worlds,” he said.
“The Bajaj family is an expert in the auto sector and not the medical or Covid field. His (Bajaj) statement cannot be the gospel truth. If he would have said something on how to make a car, auto rickshaw etc, it would have been acceptable,” said Fadnavis.
He further added that Bajaj had hailed Spain’s strategy of not imposing a lockdown. Fadnavis said several fatalities could have been avoided there, but they failed. Rajiv Bajaj expressed his opinion as many citizens of the country have a right to freedom of expression but it is not an expert opinion. “I don’t think that lockdown was draconian,” he added.
The BJP leader also said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was suffering from policy and action paralysis as the three constituents of the MVA, namely Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, were not communicating within themselves.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has come forward in the support of Mr Bajaj stating that like demonetisation, there was no plan for the lockdown. An editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said that the way lockdown was implemented in the country, it could not contain the Coronavirus but it badly hit the economy. As a result, the nation is suffering.
“The country knows the contribution of the Bajaj family prior Independence and post-Independence for expanding the economy. The government should respond to the issues raised by him,” the editorial added.