Rahul Bajaj slams Centre on reforms; wants BJP to extend ‘hand of friendship’ to Sonia Gandhi’s Congress

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Updated: September 10, 2015 9:02:26 AM

Noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj today criticised the Narendra Modi government saying it was sending conflicting signals on reforms and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to extend its hand of friendship to Sonia Gandhi-led Congress.

Noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj today criticised the Narendra Modi government saying it was sending conflicting signals on reforms and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to extend its hand of friendship to Sonia Gandhi-led Congress to end the deadlock in Parliament and boost the Indian economy.

He also described the ‘tension’ between the government and the Opposition as worse than that during the Emergency and said BJP should walk “more than halfway” and Congress must accept the friendship to avoid losing even those votes it got the last time.

The Bajaj Auto Chairman, who is known to speak his mind, said here at the Economist India Summit that the Modi government was sending out conflicting signals on reforms ever since it took charge.

Also read: Narendra Modi must talk directly to Sonia Gandhi

“On one hand, they say implement the reforms… Why do you want big bang reforms? On the other hand, (they say it is) the new government whose honeymoon period is not of 100 days or six month but of one year,” he said.

“The Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) said that in 15 months you can not expect magic… Because the Upper House is not functioning and unions will come in way of decisions… (but) the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao did that in 1991 in one year,” Bajaj added.

He said major reforms, including the GST, would not happen unless the two parties come to an agreement.

“It (GST) has to be passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha both. Till Congress permit it, it would not pass. It can only be a hope that most of the Opposition parties come on board for the Bill,” Bajaj said.

Criticising the the behaviour of both BJP and Congress, he said, “They do not know what they do… the basic. Both have responsibilities.”

“Relations between Congress and BJP, the government and Congress have become pretty bad… The tension is worse than during the Emergency of 1975-77,” Bajaj said.

Suggesting reconciliation, he said: “I believe that the ruling party should extend the hands of friendship and cooperation (walk) more than halfway and Congress must accept. Otherwise they would not even get the votes that they got last time.”

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