After ministers in the government, Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj has also taken on Rahul Bajaj saying that his father raised a 'sensitive and subjective' issue at the wrong platform. Even though his father is courageous in this respect, nobody from the industry wants to join him for the same reason and they 'conveniently cheer from the sidelines', The Economic Times reported Rajiv Bajaj as saying in an interview. On Saturday, veteran businessman Rahul Bajaj had said at a media event that there was an 'atmosphere of fear' and people were afraid to criticise the government. Even though he himself had issues with the government in the past including on the electric vehicle policy, it had 'rarely left a poor taste', Rajeev Bajaj added. It is not the first time that Rahul Bajaj has openly taken on the government. In 2017 too, he had raised questions on the previous Modi government's demonetisation move.
Following this, several ministers in the central government responded to the claims. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that criticising the government 'can hurt national interest if it gains traction'. "The Home Minister Amit Shah answers on how issues raised by 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," Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.
"That Rahul Bajaj could stand up to Amit Shah's face, express himself freely, and instigate others to join him clearly indicate that freedom of expression and democratic values are alive and flourishing in India, " Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said. The leading industrialist present at the event included RIL CMD Mukesh Ambani, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, and Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.