New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday came to the defence of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, who has come under fire from the BJP, calling those slamming him ‘bigots’ and saying that there are millions of Indians who feel inspired by his feat.

His tweet comes a day after his sister Priyanka Gandhi too tweeted in favour of the Nobel laureate, asking the BJP to focus on reviving the economy, instead of ‘running a comedy circus.’

On Sunday, the former Congress national president tweeted, “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.”

Banerjee, who along with his French-American economist wife Esther Duflo and American economist Michael Kremer won the Nobel Prize for Economics recently, was one of the brains behind Congress’ Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), a flagship poverty alleviation scheme the party, in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, promised to implement if it came to power.

In recent days, however, he has been targeted by several BJP leaders, including Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy and West Bengal BJP’s Rahul Sinha. Goyal, speaking at an event in Pune recently, congratulated the Nobel laureate but also called him a ‘Left-leaner’, whose ideology had been rejected by the people.

Responding to these remarks in an interview with a TV channel, Banerjee said that the Union Minister was questioning his professionalism. In the same interview, he also praised various schemes of the Centre, asserting that these were a good idea in the long run.