A day after the BJP distanced itself from the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra’s view that the NDA should take back economist Amartya Sen’s Bharat Ratna if it comes to power, Mitra regretted his comment.
“I think I may have exaggerated. I do regret the part about taking away of Bharat Ratna from Dr Sen, I oversaid it,” Mitra told reporters.
He, however, rejected Sen’s economics as “outdated” and asked him not to engage in politics. “Dr Amartya Sen should behave like a Bharat Ratna does,” Mitra said.
Mitra, however, made it clear that his views on Sen were his personal views and not those of the party.
Sen, a Nobel laureate, had irked the BJP by saying that Narendra Modi should not become prime minister of India, questioning the treatment of minorities in Gujarat. Mitra responded by targeting Sen.
Incidentally, Sen had been conferred the Bharat Ratna by the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government. Sen had responded to Mitra’s attack on Thursday saying he was willing to return the honour if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked him to.
Mitra’s pitch, however, didn’t find favour with the BJP.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi distanced himself from Mitra’s demands when asked on Thursday, saying both Mitra and Sen had their personal opinions on which he didn’t want to comment.
Breaking with Mitra’s hard line on Sen, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The BJP is not a part of it. Views expressed by members can only be construed as their personal opinion.”