Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has hit out at Goldman Sachs for “messing around with India’s domestic politics” in a rare no holds-barred attack by a senior minister on a global investment bank, after it suggested that BJP-led NDA could win the next general elections. “I think banks such as Goldman Sachs should stay focused only on doing what they claim to specialise in,” Sharma said in an interview. “Goldman’s latest report on Indian economy and its eagerness to push the case of a particular political leader and his party exposes two things — Goldman is parading its ignorance about the basic facts of Indian economy; and it also exposes its eagerness to mess around with India’s domestic politics,” the minister added.
It only makes Goldman’s credibility and motives highly suspect,” Sharma said. Earlier this week, Goldman in a report titled “Modi-fying our view”, raised its rating for Indian markets to “marketweight” from “underweight”, citing optimism over political change.
“Equity investors tend to view BJP as business-friendly, and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as an agent of change,” analysts at the bank said in a note to investors.
While the note was not an endorsement of Modi or BJP, it nevertheless had the effect of sanctifying a growing narrative among stock market participants about a likely Modi and BJP victory in the 2014 elections. Such talk cannot be pleasant reading for UPA and its ministers, who say the headwinds facing the economy were triggered by international factors and the government had done everything to mitigate them. Sharma said topics such as elections and politics were best left to voters. “It is time banks like Goldman realise that over 800 million Indian voters alone shall decide the future of Indian politics and elections,” he said.