NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday disapproved of party MP Subramanian Swamy’s attacks on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and some top finance ministry officials say they are “inappropriate”.
Calling Rajan “no less patriotic”, he virtually ticked off Swamy saying “if anybody considers himself above the system then it is wrong”.
The Prime Minister’s comments assume significance in the context of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the BJP distancing themselves from Swamy’s recent attacks on Rajan, CEA Arvind Subramanian and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
Swamy also had made some carping comments about Jaitley without taking his name.
“Whether it is in my party or not, still I think such things are inappropriate. This fondness for publicity is never going to do any good to the nation. People should conduct themselves with utmost responsibility. If anybody considers himself above the system, it is wrong,” the Prime Minister told Times Now.
Without taking the name of Swamy, Modi was asked about the comments of “your Rajya Sabha MP” in the context of Raghuram Rajan and queried whether it was appropriate.
Even after that, there have been criticisms made against very senior government officials, the questioner said recalling Modi’s recent counsel to party leaders in Allahabad to maintain balance and restraint in their speech and conduct.
“My message is very clear. I have no confusion about it,” Modi said when he was asked whether his message on the issue is clear.
Modi then went on to praise Rajan, who has said no to a second term in RBI, saying his patriotism was no less and was sure that he would continue to serve India irrespective of whether he was in some position or not.
“My experience with him has been good and I appreciate the work that he has done. He is no less patriotic. He loves India. Wherever he will work, he will work for India and he is patriotic,” he said in an apparent riposte to Swamy’s attack that Rajan not mentally fully Indian.
Referring to apprehensions whether Rajan would be allowed to complete his term, the prime minister said though he was appointed by the previous UPA government, Rajan would be completing his term.
Asked about reports and apprehensions that Rajan’s exit would affect the image of Indian economy abroad and whether it would harm investment, Modi said if one recalled the media reports for three months after he took over in 2014 there were a number of articles written whether Rajan would be allowed to continue in the post to which he was appointed by the UPA government.
“They said I would not allow him to continue (as RBI Governor). So it was proved wrong.
“It is wrong to say that Rajan is less patriotic than us. It will also be unfair to say that he will not work for India’s interests. I am sure wherever he works or whichever post he holds, Rajan will continue to serve India,” the prime minister said.