New Delhi: The government on Wednesday hit back at JD-U chief Sharad Yadav over what it termed a "classic case of shooting the messenger" after he claimed that the move by some business houses to ask Parliament to function "vindicated" the charge that the ruling dispensation was for "moneybags".
"I am surprised at Yadav's statement. It is a classic case of shooting the messenger.
"Over 18,000 people made the online representation. He says all these are big people and industrialists. Are all these people industrialists? Among those who made the request are Sanjay Baru, professor Piyush Kumar Sinha of IIM-Ahmedabad and Dr Naresh Trehan.
"Is Dr Naresh Trehan a big industrialist? Sanjay Baru was an adviser to former PM. It is the wish of the Indian people. You must congratulate them. They are expressing the wish of the people. People want the Parliament to function," Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters outside Parliament.
Opposition and treasury benches exchanged sharp barbs after Yadav said the charge that the BJP government was "a government for moneybags has been vindicated" in the attack on Parliament by "capitalists".
The JD(U) leader was referring to an online signature campaign in which over 15,000 people, including the country's top industrialists, have urged lawmakers to allow Parliament to function, debate and legislate.
Maintaining that people want the GST Bill to be taken up and the economy and standard of living to improve, Naidu said that many people believe that once the GST is rolled out, the GDP of the country will grow by between 1.5 to 2 per cent.
Expressing surprise over Yadav's statement, Naidu said that the JD-U chief, who was fighting Congress all along, is now "comfortable with Congress party".
"There is no meaning of the word capitalists Sharad-ji. The world has changed a lot," the minister said.
Naidu said that the online campaign by India Inc urging Parliament to function and pass the GST Bill is in the larger interest of the country.