oppn parties Prove Quid Pro Quo Before Faulting PM For Meeting Businessmen

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oppn parties
Prove Quid Pro Quo Before Faulting PM For Meeting Businessmen

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
When people say that it is not good for the Prime Minister to be seen with captains of industry, they are assuming two things. One, that all businessmen are either crooks and should be avoided by the ruling class or that when businessmen meet the top executive of the country, they do so with an ulterior motive. Two, they assume that when the Prime Minister meets them, he too has an ulterior motive and is most likely to ask them for favours, compromising his position. Both these assumptions are wrong and in fact people making them have an ulterior motive.

The business class is at the forefront of the nation’s development. It is through their entrepreneurship, foresight and investment that sustainable assets are created, people get jobs and products get made. Of course, like any other field, there are bad fish in the business community also. The Prime Minister has in the past been photographed with the absconding Nirav Modi and others who have defrauded banks of crores. But can anyone prove that the Prime Minister, or anyone close to him, had asked any bank to lend money to these crooks? If bankers got impressed by photographs, then they were the biggest suckers and had no right to be in the position they were.

As part of his official duties, the Prime Minister is expected to address meetings of chambers of commerce, hold meetings with groups of businessmen and even have a one-to-one meeting with any businessman if the situation is urgent. The push for ‘Make in India’ cannot be achieved by keeping businessmen at arm’s length. Without granting them any unnecessary favours, they must be made to feel partners in the country’s progress – which they are in any case. The Prime Minister cannot be faulted for meeting businessmen if quid pro quo is not proved.

The opposition parties, and a section of the media, unable to unearth a major scam (which of course does not exist) in these four years, want to manufacture cases of corruption. Hence, in continuation of the Rahul charge that this is a “suit-boot ki sarkaar,” they are now targeting the Prime Minister’s alleged closeness to businessmen.

There might be another reason for this pique. Latest figures of contribution to political parties (above Rs 20000) by businessmen and other known sources shows that in FY 2015-16 and 2016-17, the BJP received Rs 532cr and the Congress just Rs 41.9cr. The other parties received negligible amounts. This might be their way to get at the business class for ignoring them. But haven’t they heard that everyone salutes the rising sun? All these years, the Congress had cornered the major share of donations as it was the ruling party. Why is it now turning against the same businessmen?