Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed sections of the Narendra Modi government as “bigots”, a day after Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee expressed unhappiness over Union Minister Piyush Goyal questioning his “professionalism”.

Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to come out in support of the Nobel Laureate. He wrote, “Dear Mr Banerjee, These bigots are blinded by hatred and have no idea what a professional is. You cannot explain it to them, even if you tried for a decade. Please be certain that millions of Indians are proud of your work.”

Earlier, on Friday Union minister of Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal dubbed Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, who won the 2019 Nobel for Economics, as Left-leaning and that he had supported Congress’ ‘NYAY’ scheme and that “people of India rejected his ideology.”

Goyal made the remarks at a media briefing held at Pune where he went to campaign for BJP for the upcoming Assembly elections.

“I congratulate Abhijit Banerjee for winning the Nobel prize. You all know that his thinking is totally Left-leaning,” Goyal said. “Banerjee supported ‘NYAY’ (poverty alleviation scheme of Congress) and people of India rejected his ideology,” the BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, Banerjee defended himself in an interview to a news channel a day later and said, “I am not partisan in my economic thinking.”

Banerjee had recently said that the Indian economy is on a shaky ground, adding that data currently available does not hold any assurance for the country’s economic revival anytime soon. He further said that “policies are evaluated based on accepted criteria and looked at as an option”.

Banerjee said,“The economy is doing very badly in my view,” at a press conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after winning the prize. When asked about his opinion on the state of the economy in India and its future, he said, “That’s a statement not about what will work in the future but about what’s going on now. That I’m entitled to have an opinion about.”

Earlier also former Congress president took a dig at the Modi government over its economic policies, saying “Modinomics” was destroying the country’s economy. He made the remark in a tweet he put out to congratulate Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee for winning the Economics Nobel prize.

On October 14 Gandhi tweeted, “Congratulations to #AbhijitBanerjee on winning the Nobel Prize in Economics. Abhijit helped conceptualise NYAY that had the power to destroy poverty and boost the Indian economy. Instead we now have Modinomics, that’s destroying the economy and boosting poverty.”