<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sasikala Natarajan becoming the AIADMK general secretary was the party’s internal matter and she could also become the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said on Saturday. “It is purely an internal matter of the party. There is also a chance of her becoming the chief minister,” he told reporters here when asked about Sasikala’s appointment to the top post in AIADMK. On the criticism that Sasikala lacked the political ability for such a big post, Swamy shot back saying what capability did Sonia or Rahul Gandhi have when they took charge of the Congress. Swamy, who spent a week at an ayurveda centre here, said the verdict in the disproportionate assets case against late chief minister J Jayalalithaa and Sasikala was expected to be delivered by the Supreme Court next month.The case against Jayalalithaa and three others for allegedly amassing disproportionate wealth to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during 1991-96 was filed on Swamy’s complaint. The BJP leader said with the changing political scenario in the state, the Tamil Nadu unit of the party required a new leadership as also new executive and general council members, adding that the party’s January 6-7 national executive meet could take a decision in this regard. Later, talking to reporters at the Chennai airport, Swamy said mediapersons did not ask questions when Sonia Gandhi took over as the Congress president.On demonetisation, he said the intention behind it was good and welcomed initiatives such as the BHIM app which he said will be accepted by the people. Swamy expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will give its nod to ‘jallikattu’ (a bull-taming sport) with some riders and the order would be delivered ahead of the coming Pongal festival.He blamed some “foreign-funded NGOs” for creating an alleged prejudice against the traditional sport and added that he too had argued in the apex court for allowing ‘jallikattu’ by putting forth “strong grounds”.To supervise the safe conduct of the event, a committee may be asked to monitor the sport, he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi court on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents and ledger books from the Congress Party and the Associated Journals Limited (AJL)Swamy in his petition had alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated Journals through ‘dishonest means’ which pertains to criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.However the defence counsel, appearing for Gandhi, had said Swami filed a complaint in July 2013 which has no reference regarding the loan borrowed from the Congress.Swamy had alleged that he revealed a correspondence between Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru where the former alleged that Nehru had indulged in corrupt practices by collecting money for National Herald by giving away government contracts to undesirable parties.”The National Herald is being used by the Nehru family to collect funds and aggrandise them. I wanted to know whether Sonia and Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated journals limited by honest means or dishonest means, My allegations is that they acquired through dishonest means which is criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust,” he had said.Swamy had filed an application in 2012 accusing Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others associated with Congress of conspiring to cheat in a land deal.In his complaint, Swamy had alleged that the Congress granted an interest-free loan of Rs. 90.25 crore to the AJL, owner of the National Herald newspaper, established by Jawaharlal Nehru, which was either not repaid or repaid in case. This is in violation of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said Rahul Gandhi does not have the “guts” to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Congress vice president feared action would be taken against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. “Rahul does not have guts to expose anything against Modi ji. The day he does it, Modi ji will arrest Robert Vadra,” he said.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi in the Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.Two days ago, Kejriwal had dared Gandhi to “expose” PM Modi if he has documents at his disposal, saying Congress and BJP indulge in such “friendly matches” but do not make any disclosure.The AAP supremo also lashed out at the CBI for registering a case on a complaint made by e-wallet company Paytm.”Modi ji has come into Paytm advertisements. He is in Paytm’s wallet now. CBI does not have the guts to refuse Paytm’s order,” Kejriwal tweeted.CBI has registered an FIR against some customers of Paytm on a complaint by the company that it has allegedly been cheated to the tune of Rs 6.15 lakh by customers based here.It is rare for the agency to take up such cases unless they have been referred by the Central Government or directed by Supreme Court or one of the High Courts. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi and a host of Congress leaders met the PM to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers. Rahul Gandhi told the media: “‘Prime Minister accepted that the situation of farmers is critical, But he did not say anything about waiving off their loans, he only heard the matter.” He further added that the farmers are committing suicide all over the country and the removal of import duty on wheat by the government is a devastating blow. Earlier in the day, a delegation of senior Congress leaders met Prime Minister Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers and to express their apprehension at not being allowed to speak in parliament.Following this, opposition leaders would call on President Pranab Mukherjee at 12.30 p.m. These meetings come even as the ruckus continues in parliament over several issues, including demonetization and corruption.Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that Rahul Gandhi was ‘duty bound by law’ to report any instances of corruption to the police. Swamy said: “He (Rahul Gandhi) is bound by the law, criminal procedure code, to report it to police station or to a court of law and not to doing so carries a punishment of three years.” Gandhi had alleged he has detailed information on “personal corruption” by the Prime Minister which he wants to present in Lok Sabha but he was not being allowed to speak in the House. “The Prime Minister is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information about the Prime Minister that is going to explode his balloon. And I am not being allowed to speak in the House,” the Congress leader had said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning Rahul Gandhi’s credibility over his ‘corrupt’ comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said how can the Congress vice-president, who is himself involved in case of corruption, be believed.”Who is Rahul Gandhi to speak on this issue, when he himself is out on bail, after being arrested in a corruption case,” said Swamy.Saying that Gandhi’s statement does not carry any substance, Swamy said his statement is not God’s statement. “Is his statement some Veda or statement of God or saint? At least, he should make a statement on some basis,” he said.Meanwhile, taking a jibe at the Centre, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury asked if the government had taken the Vyapam scam seriously. “Did they take Vyapam scam seriously? They don’t have manners and lack etiquette. They only know how to mislead people. This public only will now give them an answer,” Chowdhury said.Believing that the people will give the government a befitting reply after getting exposed by Gandhi, Chowdhury said, “When Rahul Gandhi will tell the truth, public will believe us. It is enough for us that public takes us seriously. We don’t want a certificate of belief from them (BJP).”The Congress vice-president yesterday said that he had “detailed” information about Prime Minister Modi’s “personal corruption”.”That information is personal information about Narendra Modi which I want to place in Lok Sabha. It is personal corruption of the prime minister… the PM is not allowing us to speak,” Gandhi said at a press conference along with NCP, Trinamool, RSP and DMK leaders after the Lok Sabha was adjourned.”The PM is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information…that is going to explode his balloon,” he added.However, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir rubbished the claim saying, “Nobody takes Rahul Gandhi seriously, because he himself is not serious.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that the Tata Group of companies will suffer because of the greed of Ratan Tata.Speaking ahead of a meeting of the shareholders of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) who are to decide the fate of ousted group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Swamy said, “That is one of the small parts of the Tata, the main thing is the vote that comes from the general body from Tata Sons. The fact is that Mr. Ratan Tata is already the voter and the director by illegal means; he is the nominee of the Tata Trust. Tata Trust is a charitable trust. It cannot play any role in the commercial activities of Tata Sons, and so far, nobody has paid attention. So, they have been carrying on.””Now, this all will be challenged in court. Tata’s will suffer because of the greed of the Mr. Ratan Tata,” he added.The Tata group led by Ratan Tata is expected to have a cakewalk and oust Mistry as Tata Sons holds a huge stake of over 73% in TCS.The voting pattern of mutual funds and institutions will give an indication of the level of support Mistry enjoys from shareholders in general, which in turn could set the tone for other Tata EGMs that are to follow in the coming days.On November 10, Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group, sacked Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), bringing in Ishaat Hussain as the new chairman of the software services firm.Swamy had yesterday wrote to the Acting Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the role of former defence secretary Vijay Singh and Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata in the Agusta Westland chopper scam.Talking to ANI about his letter, Swamy stated that he has urged the CBI acting director to look into the matter of how Ratan Tata appointed Vijay Singh to the board of Tata Trusts, which in itself is illegal.”Ratan Tata went and deposed in Italy in the trial in the Agusta scam, so that itself makes it necessary to interrogate Mr Tata, because how is he involved? If he can obey a summons from Italy, he can obey one from India also,” Swamy said.Further stating that all allegations made by sacked Tata chairman Cyrus Mistry so far have been proven true, the senior BJP leader added, “For instance the Air Asia scandal has been proved by records and Delhi High Court has taken notice of it. So, here also it is necessary for the CBI to summon both Vijay Singh who was defence Secretary and also Ratan Tata and interrogate them.”Accusing Ratan Tata of conspiring with Singh, Swamy states in his letter that the ex defence secretary had engaged in corrupt practices in the Agusta Westland scam, which the CBI is currently probing.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday wrote to the Acting Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the role of former defence secretary Vijay Singh and Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata in the Agusta Westland chopper scam.Swamy said that he has urged the CBI acting Director to look into the matter of how Ratan Tata appointed Vijay Singh to the board of Tata Trusts, which in itself is illegal.”Ratan Tata went and deposed in Italy in the trial in the Agusta scam, so that itself makes it necessary to interrogate Mr Tata, because how is he involved? If he can obey a summons from Italy, he can obey one from India also,” Swamy said.
ALSO READ Tata Sons Director Vijay Singh ‘involved’ in AgustaWestaland scam: Cyrus MistryFurther stating that all allegations made by sacked Tata chairman Cyrus Mistry so far have been proven true, the senior BJP leader added, “For instance the Air Asia scandal has been proved by records and Delhi High Court has taken notice of it. So, here also it is necessary for the CBI to summon both Vijay Singh who was defence Secretary and also Ratan Tata and interrogate them.”Accusing Ratan Tata of conspiring with Singh, Swamy states in his letter that the ex-defence secretary had engaged in corrupt practices in the Agusta Westland scam, which the CBI is currently probing.
ALSO READ After visit to Italy, CBI now probing money trail of 50 million euro in AgustaWestland scam”Ratan Tata thereafter rewarded Vijay Singh with a directorship in Tata Sons by the dubious route of being a nominee in the Tata Trusts which in itself are illegal since the Tata Trusts are Trusts for philanthropy and owned by the public and not by the Tatas,” the letter said.Asserting that a complaint has been filed in this regard with Securities and Exchange Bank of India (SEBI), Swamy added that such Trusts cannot engage in commercial business even if under the name of Tata and Sons Ltd.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Patiala House Court on Friday reserved its order in the National Herald case after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed an application, seeking documents and ledger books from the Congress party and the Associated Journals Limited (AJL). The court is likely to pronounce an order on December 26.Swamy in his petition alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated Journals through “dishonest means” which pertains to “criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.” However the defence counsel, appearing for Gandhi, said Swami filed a complaint in July 2013 which has no reference regarding the loan borrowed from the Congress.They said neither Swamy made the Congress an accused nor he alleged that no office bearers were authorised to lend the loan.The counsel argued that the details of loan were never mentioned in the returns and the documents Swami asked are not necessary for this case. However, Swamy refuted the claim saying that his case has merit. “They have been saying that I don’t have a case, how can that be when the court has issued summons for them. So they are buying time and delaying, but they will not escape it,” Swamy said.Swamy further alleged that he revealed a correspondence between Sardar Vallabha Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru where the former alleged that Nehru had indulged in corrupt practices by collecting money for National Herald by giving away government contracts to undesirable parties. “The National Herald is being used by the Nehru family to collect funds and aggrandise them. I wanted to know whether Sonia and Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated journals limited by honest means or dishonest means, My allegations is that they acquired through dishonest means which is criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust,” he said.Swamy had filed an application in 2012 accusing Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others associated with Congress of conspiring to cheat in a land deal.In his complaint, Swamy had alleged that the Congress granted an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore to the AJL, owner of the National Herald newspaper, established by Jawaharlal Nehru, which was either not repaid or repaid in case. This is in violation of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act, 1961.In August, the court issued notices to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and five others on Swamy’s application seeking presentation of certain documents from Associated Journals Pvt. Ltd (AJL) and Indian National Congress (INC) in connection with the National Herald case.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Within days of the centuries-old Padmanabha Swamy temple’s decision to to relax its dress code for women, the Kerala High Court on Thursday ordered that women should not be allowed to wear salwar kameez and churidar in the temple.Earlier, women devotees had to wear a ‘mundu’ (dhoti) over their waist if they were attired in salwars and churidars before entering the famous shrine, considered the richest Hindu temple in the world. The custom was stopped recently by Temple Executive officer KN Sateesh thereby permitting devotees to wear the traditional Indian salwar kameez and churidar while worshipping at the shrine. Many women had worn the salwar kameez and churidar without the mundu on December 1.The temple’s senior Tantri (priest), however, has voiced opposition to the decision. “A decision was taken today to allow women to wear salwar kameez and churidars..from this evening itself, devotees can offer worship wearing salwars and churidars,” said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK will head for a split as J Jayalalithaa’s close confidante Sasikala Natarajan will take over the reins of the party and not allow newly-elected Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to function independently, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed. “AIADMK will not survive as a single entity. Sasikala Natarajan will be the head of the organisation and will not give Panneerselvam a free hand and she will ultimately find somebody from the family for the post,” Swamy said. The BJP leader said Panneerselvam also has no base in the party nor does Sasikala posses any political “acumen”. Yesterday, two hours after the announcement of Jayalalithaa’s death, in a swift political transition, her loyalist Panneerselvam was sworn in as CM at a sombre ceremony at the Raj Bhawan along with all the ministers in the erstwhile Cabinet. Panneerselvam had stepped into her shoes twice earlier when she was convicted in corruption cases.As Finance Minister, he was given charge of the portfolios held by Jayalalithaa after she was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said his party needed to blend development with Hindutva and a “promising fight against corruption” for electoral victory even as he deprecated the way demonetization exercise was being implemented.Swamy said he supported the idea of demonetization, but not the way in which it was being implemented. The senior Rajya Sabha member, a known critic of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, criticised the Finance Ministry for lack of preparation before undertaking the exercise, saying an economist should helm it. “Economic development is a must, but you can win the polls (even) if the economy is flattened,” Swamy said speaking on ‘Desh Ka Mudda’ (The issue before the nation) on ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’.To back his claim, he said, former Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao introduced economic reforms and took the economy from 3 per cent to 9 per cent, while Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure saw a phenomenal 14 per cent industrial growth. However, both lost the polls. “Our (BJP) spokespersons keep talking about development, but they should learn from (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee because even he talked about India Shining (BJP’s campaign slogan in 2004 Lok Sabha polls) and left other things. We lost badly and (the BJP tally) were reduced to half,” Swamy said, adding “in politics, economic development is a must, but that is not sufficient”.Advocating a three-pronged approach to win polls, Swamy said, economic development is a must, but it should be blended with “Hindutva and a promising fight against corruption.” “The politics that has been going on before 2014 was (about) how to divide the votes on caste, region, religion and language, by consolidating the minority and dividing the majority. “If one has to combat that, then majority vote has to be consolidated. Hindus are 80 per cent, but BJP got 31 per cent votes (in 2014). Consolidating Hindu vote is compulsory,” he said.Swamy said there was no need for the Lok Sabha to pass Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, which gives people with unaccounted cash another chance to come clean.Instead, he said, Income Tax should have been abolished. The BJP leader also agreed with MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who was a participant in the panel discussion, that the informal sector will collapse because of demonetization and the country would have to face dire consequences because of that.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing disquiet over Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s medical condition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he is pinning his hope for another miracle.Swamy told ANI, “She was recovering in a miraculous way but then 74 days in hospital. As a consequence, the heart will be put to great deal of strain, and so, just as she was about to be discharged the heart gave out. So, it has to revive, and now, she is on support systems and top experts are coming in. We don’t know whether there will be another miracle or not, the Apollo Hospital is going to make a formal statement. So, we will know the exact position at 12 o’clock today.”In the afternoon, Apollo hospital issued a statement saying,Swamy said that Jayalalithaa was able to fill the gap of Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (MGR) and she had many other qualities. “She was far more intelligent, she had much more education, self education. Jayalalitha used to read books, facts and share a tremendous memory. So she became bigger then MGR in one sense, but more feared. MGR was generally loved never feared,” he added.”Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a party without stature there AIADMK have been ministers from a long time. They don’t have anybody of stature whom they would accept as a leader. So, therefore, I am afraid BJP might not be able to take advantage of it. AIADMK guys will not do chaos because they are in grief, the other parties, particularly Naxalites , LTT, ISIS…They would like to create this kind of chaos. So our centre has been preparing for this situation from a long time, almost 75 days to be exact,” Swamy said.Jayalalithaa is in a critical state after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening at the Apollo Hospital here, where she has been admitted since September 22.
Thu, 1 Dec 2016-02:32pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday claimed that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s twitter account was hacked by people who already knew the code and were frustrated because of him. Bharatiya Janata Party Leader Subramanian Swamy said, “This is done by the dissatisfied people with whom Rahul Gandhi has misbehaved. The people already knew the code have done this and not the outsiders.”Swamy further said that Rahul Gandhi has annoyed so many people in the office as his mood depends on what he eats. The Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi, @OfficeOfRG (Office of RG), was hacked on Wednesday evening. The hacker posted obscenities on the timeline.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The centuries-old Padmanabha Swamy temple decided to relax its dress code for women on Tuesday, permitting devotees to wear the traditional Indian salwar kameez and churidar while worshipping at the shrine but the temple’s senior Tantri (priest) has voiced opposition to the decision.Earlier, women devotees had to wear a ‘mundu’ (dhoti) over their waist if they were attired in salwars and churidars before entering the famous shrine, considered the richest Hindu temple in the world. “A decision was taken today to allow women to wear salwar kameez and churidars..from this evening itself, devotees can offer worship wearing salwars and churidars,” Temple Executive officer KN Sateesh said.The Kerala High Court had recently disposed of a petition seeking permission to allow women to wear salwars and churidars inside the temple after directing the Executive officer to decide within 30 days on the matter. Sateesh said he had received mails and mass petitions from devotees, especially women, seeking a direction to temple authorities to permit wearing of salwar kameez and churidars inside the shrine.Devotees from all over the country visit the shrine throughout the year and had been wanting a change in the dress code. “Keralites have also wanted this saying it was more convenient..there is no justification for wearing a mundu on top of the salwars or churidars. It is a mockery,” he said.Sateesh said he had received several letters from IAS officers, scientists, doctors and from ordinary persons also seeking permission to be allowed to wear churidars as it was a ‘decent and dignified dress’. Salwar kameez and churidars were being allowed as it was a traditional Indian attire, he said, adding, however, jeans, tights and such other dresses will not be permitted.Meanwhile, the temple’s senior Tantri (priest) Nedumpilli Tharanalloor Parameshwaran Namboodiripad has voiced opposition to allowing women to wear salwar and churidar, saying it was against customs and age old traditions of the shrine. The present dress code should continue, he informed the Administrative Committee and Executive officer, temple sources said.The Administrative Committee has also said that the present dress code should be continued. “Such a decision has been taken after obtaining the written opinion of Tantri and also after gathering the opinion of other stake holders like the Trustee, ‘Ettara Yogam functionaries’ and a cross section of the devotees,” the committee said. “It is of the firm view that these kinds of issues which are superfluous are being raked up, only to sideline other important matters affecting the temple and its administration,” the committee said, adding, “the age old tradition in vogue cannot be changed without wider consultation.”According to temple customs, women should wear sarees, ‘mundu and neriyathu’ (set mundu), not cover their face while offering worship, while men have to wear mundu and be bare-chested. The Guruvayoor Sri Krishna temple had in 2007 amended its strict dress code for women devotees to allow them to enter the temple wearing salwar and churidars. Earlier, only those in sarees and traditional full skirts were allowed inside.The Padmanabha Swamy temple, built in an intricate fusion of the indigenous Kerala style and Dravidian style of architecture, has Lord Vishnu enshrined in the “Anantha Shayanam” posture, the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Adisheshan, as its presiding deity.
The chief minister of the south Indian state of Telangana causes outrage after moving into a $7.3m home.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao moved into his new official residential buildings complex at Begumpet in Hyderabad on Thursday though main opposition Congress cried foul claiming that “over Rs 40 crore of public money” has been “wasted” on its construction.On the occasion, the CM performed a string of rituals to mark the event. Rao, who had been staying in the Chief Minister’s Camp Office built during YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s regime in undivided Andhra Pradesh, moved into the sprawling new buildings complex after performing a traditional ceremony.Known to be a religious man, the TRS chief performed ‘Griha Pravesam’ (house warming ceremony) along with his wife as per traditional practices. The auspicious ‘muhurtham’ was 5:22 am. Under the guidance of seer Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Chinna Jeeyar Swamy, Rao and his wife performed ‘Daiva Pravesam’, ‘Yati Pravesam’, ‘Go Pravesam’ and other rituals. ‘Sudarshana Homam’ and ‘Vastu Homam’ were also performed. Prayers of different religions were also recited on the occasion for the welfare of Telangana people.Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ESL Narasimhan, Telangana Legislative Assembly Speaker S Madhusudanachary, Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud, Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali, state IT and Municipal Administration Minister and Rao’s son K T Rama Rao, Nizamabad MP K Kavitha, who is Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter, and state irrigation minister T Harish Rao were among those present.Rao assumed office about two-and-half years ago as the first chief minister of the newly-created Telangana. The official buildings complex, including the CM’s residence and office, a conference hall and two existing buildings, has been named as Pragathi Bhavan by government. The conference hall, named ‘Janahita’, will serve as a meeting place for the Chief Minister. In ‘Janahita’, the CM will interact with various sections of the people, including farmers, workers, employees, artisans and a host of others on policy formulation and on their implementation, a state government release said.Slamming Rao over his “new posh bungalow”, state Congress president and MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged the new buildings complex was built “wasting over Rs 40 crore of public money”. He claimed that the cost of Chief Minister’s new house would be nearly Rs 150 crore if land price is also taken into account. Accusing Rao of “wasting public money to satisfy his Vastu beliefs”, Reddy maintained that such “wastage” is not permissible in a socialist and democratic country like India.According to some media reports, the posh complex came up on a space of over one lakh square feet, with several facilities and measures, including bullet-proof bathrooms.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Sunday demanded a definite policy to fight “Islamic terrorism” which, he said, was responsible for polarising communities and creating chaos in country.”Islamic terrorism is making every attempt to create chaos and anarchy in the country and bring about differences among communities. We had successfully fought LTTE, Tamil Tigers, Bodo, Naxals…and in the same manner we should fight and root out Islamic terrorism from country,” he said.He was delivering the last lecture in the VD Sawarkar Lecture Series on the topic “Terrorism in the Country”.He claimed that the Islamic State is now active in southern states of country “which needs to be tackled with definite policy”.Swamy claimed that he had pushed for Bharat Ratna award for ‘Sardar’ Vallabhbhai Patel in 1991 when Chandra Shekhar was the Prime Minister. “Congress had not done anything in this regard in their tenure,” he said.Welcoming the demonetisation decision, Swamy said the results of the exercise would be visible after some time.”One of the major achievements of the move is that the counterfeit notes which were in circulation in Kashmir have vanished and life has come to normal in that state,” he said.He said demonetization was overall a good move even as he conceded that Finance Ministry was “not prepared” for such a big exercise and ATMs were not calibrated for the new Rs 2000 notes.
In the alpha-male club of unabashed nationalists now ruling the world, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be the cleverest. The cleverest politician that is (no prizes for guessing who’s the dumbest).
Vladimir Putin has never had to win a free and fair election, Recip Erdogan is fast losing his democratic credentials with his ruthless suppression of all critics while Donald Trump is still a work in progress. But Narendra Modi, despite his dubious track record, could sell himself, unlike his American fanboy, as a messiah of hope rather than a symbol of fear and hatred.
Suddenly, flattering words from the world’s richest man notwithstanding, Modi’s smarts are being called into question and all because of a “bold, decisive” declaration that is wholly in character with his intrepid, strong-man image. This is what he is admired for, this is what he was voted in for, this is how he is delivering.
Yet, even his most devout bhakts are finding it difficult to explain away the unravelling of the whole demonetisation exercise into a muddle of ill-thought-out, un-planned, amateurish incompetence that is calling into question not just the execution but even the justification for the shock therapy itself.
In sum, a looming political disaster. Not at all what was scripted. Politics underpinned the whole exercise from the word go. Black money could have been targeted by an administrative procedure too. Then there would have been no need for the Prime Minister to come on prime time television to make the announcement that midnight would turn 500- and 1000-rupee notes into pumpkins; a directive from the Reserve Bank of India Governor would have sufficed.
But Narendra Modi would not be the world’s canniest politician if he had left such a mega headline-grabber to a mere bureaucrat. A personal message from him not only drove home the enormity of the scheme but also highlighted his daring and his commitment to his promises.
Only, now it has left him, and him alone, holding the bag. For a party that cannot even express full-throated sympathy for the sufferings wrought by demonetisation until the Prime Minister returned from Japan and gave them the cue, this is calamity indeed.
So, some quick fixes are inevitable. Even essential. Here are five steps the Prime Minister may take to shore up his popularity among the waverers.
Find a scapegoat
The hunt for a scapegoat is already on. Or so it would appear, from the way some loyalists have been pointing fingers. Well, heads do roll after a fiasco (think Volkswagen currently). But in this case it’s not that easy.
Many, even the Opposition (save Mamata Banerjee and a few economists who will dutifully be dismissed as left-wing), concede that the fault is not so much in the policy of demonetisation itself as in its execution. And the litany of failures, from the shortage of 100-rupee notes to the delay in the printing of 500-rupee notes, the uselessness and ugliness of the brand new 2000-rupee note, the unpreparedness vis-à-vis ATMs, the chopping and changing of orders every second day, is quite mind-boggling.
Obviously, the Prime Minister is above all this. His is the big picture, but the devil is always in the details. And there are several who dealt with the details.
People are already looking askance at the Governor of the RBI as it is his brief to keep track of the country’s money supply, match the demand with the supply of notes, arrange for their printing, etc. It seems someone in his team made a huge miscalculation, the note count went all awry, the banks ran dry.
But how can Urjit Patel be the fall guy? Not after the way the government patted itself on the back for having found a low-profile, tongue-tied governor to replace the media-savvy, articulate Raghuram Rajan. That would be eating crow and this government has no taste for that.
Subramanian Swamy of course has wasted no time targeting his pet hate, his own party’s finance minister. It would, without doubt, be as big a bang as the project itself if Modi sacrificed the suave Arun Jaitley at the altar of public sentiment but Dr Swamy is sure to be disappointed again.
True, Arun Jaitley’s uncharacteristic reticence in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday did elicit quips from Opposition leaders. The finance minister had also floundered at press conferences, turning frequently to his minions for answers on, say, how many times a person could exchange old notes (“unlimited” – only to be superseded a couple of days later with the one-time inking decision).
Still, his emphatic denial of any possibility of a rollback and his insistence that the execution was flawless, “it couldn’t have been done better,” he told The Economic Times, dispels any notion that Jaitley is going anywhere from the South Block.
There are of course bureaucrats in his ministry, led by finance secretary Ashok Lavasa and revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia, who have been slaving away on this project for the last ten months at least but axing such faceless entities will serve no political purpose. Except, maybe, one. Namely, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das, now a familiar face and a household name across the country.
On the 8th, explaining the modus operandi after the Prime Minister’s bombshell, Das had looked ebullient and enthusiastic. Today, after continuously contradicting his own earlier pronouncements day after day, he looks grey and hunted. February can’t come soon enough for him, when he is scheduled to retire. Unless… A scapegoat is vital for the greater good.
More whizz and bang
The security guard in my building was grinning from ear to ear. Why? He had already exchanged his big notes, I knew. Then? Well, there’s this private nursing home owned by a doctor near his house on the outskirts of the city. They’d raided the doc two days ago and found a crore of rupees under his bed. The doctor, the guard informed me gleefully, was now a patient in his own hospital.
It doesn’t take much to appease the masses. Raid some big guns, name and shame them, hold them up as examples of the government’s implacable resolve to level the playing field and the deaths and privations and standing in endless queues will be distant memories.
Of course, it has to be really big guns, at least a few of those said to be close to the powers that be have to be caught in the dragnet. Whether they are as expendable to the Prime Minister as the BJP’s core constituency of small traders we shall soon find out. But hope is eternal.
The Prime Minister has already promised (or threatened) that demonetisation was only the beginning, more fireworks are on the cards. Well, they’d better not be limited to tame measures like tax reforms, interest rate reduction, making PAN cards mandatory for jewellery and real estate purchases and suchlike, not if he wants to really light a fire under his people.
Of course, schadenfreude is hardly the basis for a well-adjusted society but no one can accuse Narendra Modi of caring overmuch for brotherly love and goodwill between communities.
Everything is what you make of it, even yourself
Joseph Goebbels had also said, “Today there seems to be only one absolute thing: relativism.”
However much we elites may cringe at Modi mobilising his 96-year-old mother in the service of his pet project, or “the greater good” as the bhakts would have it, it only underlines the huge gap that separates people like us from Modi’s support base. Modi knows what he is about. He has, they say, an unerring finger on the pulse of the masses and his recent speeches seem to reflect just that.
His hyperbole knows no bounds when the situation calls for it. Remember his, kill me before you lay a hand on my dalit brothers speech to gau rakshaks after letting them run riot for months. Now he warns his flock that his very life may be imperilled by his cleansing mission.
Irony is dead, so he had no inhibition in declaring he was completing Nehru’s unfinished task with his drive against black money. Sarcasm, the lowest form of wit, is in so he could gloat there was a wedding in the family but only 4000 rupees in hand or that “Those involved in corruption had to stand in line for Rs 4,000.”
The people roared in approval. But difficult days lie ahead. As people in rural areas realise what has hit them, as businesses, especially small businesses even in urban areas, plummet, as savings are lost and lives ruined, people may begin to question and turn.
That is when the floodgates to more emotional speeches will be opened. With elections round the corner there’ll be occasion enough. And the masses may truly end up forgetting the birthpangs of a corruption-free India, as Modi’s men are repeating ad infinitum.
It’s not just that the public’s memory is proverbially short. People want to believe the Prime Minister. The initial reaction to his announcement on November 8 night had been truly electric. Economists may quibble about its benefits but to ordinary people it was a great equaliser. The rich couldn’t buy their way out of this one, they snickered.
Even the fact that there hasn’t been any rioting on the streets or major unrest is seen by government apologists as a sign of the public’s widespread support for the Prime Minister’s grand scheme.
Of course, achhe din will have to materialise soon for people to keep their faith. Else, hell hath no fury as a public betrayed.
Woo back his core constituency
“What we are witnessing is something quite fascinating – the ability of an elected leader to use his mandate to look beyond sectional interests and address the national interest,” gushed Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta in the Times of India for the Prime Minister cutting loose the BJP’s traditional support base of small traders and businessmen who deal mainly in cash.
But can Modi really be so cavalier towards such loyal supporters? Especially when GST is poised to hurt them even more.
Some say this’ll help him widen his support base but that comes with a big if. No, Modi will not dump his faithfuls so cruelly. What he has taken away with one hand he’ll make up with another. Silent, below the radar operations that’ll be noticed by only the pink papers.
Wage a war, literally
If the Prime Minister hasn’t seen the 1997 movie Wag the Dog, now is the time to download it. Not as a break from the unrelenting demonetisation demon that’s darkening his days, but for educational purposes. Anupam Kher could surely help him here.
He needn’t even resort to a fake war as they did in the film to save an American President from public wrath and win him a second term.
As one of its lead characters put it, “You can’t have a war without an enemy… You could have one, but it would be a very dull war…” Our leader has an enemy right at hand.
Just as the Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and direct benefit transfers, incentives for e-payments, etc. are said to have laid the groundwork for demonetisation, the foundations for a war with Pakistan are already in place. The soldiers are readied, the populace is primed, the defence minister eager to retract India’s self-imposed ‘no first use of atomic bombs’ dictum. A “fan of the Hindu” will soon be moving into the White House.
One can only hope the first four steps will make the fifth redundant.
First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 17:30 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what may give the opposition fresh ammunition to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA regime over the demonetisation move, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that adequate preparation was not there in place prior to implementing this decision, adding the harassment which people are going through could have been avoided.”The preparation for implementing what the Prime Minister has decided was not there in place. For instance, only now the Finance Ministry has woken up to the idea that we need to remodel the ATMs, that is going to take three weeks. Now, Rs. 2,000 note was already announced about three months ago in the media. That time nobody connected it with demonetization, that it is coming so and from 2014 itself everybody knew that one of the steps he would take for finishing of black money is demonetization,” Swamy told ANI.”So, there should have been contingency plan prepared but obviously it was not and one of the things that they could have done is every public sector should have been told the contingency that if we ever take this decision then all their employees would be allowed to exchange in the company premises itself and the private companies also could have been subsequently asked after the announcement. So many things could have been done but now people are of course understanding that this needs to be done. This harassment which people are going through could have been avoided,” he added.The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left Parties, YSR Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday huddled to strike a common strategy for the Winter Session that starts on Wednesday and will continue till December 16.However, they could not arrive at a consensus on West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to hand over a protest memorandum in this regard to President Pranab Mukherjee.Almost all opposition parties at the all-party meeting chaired yesterday by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said demonetization had not been properly implemented, adding the move has led to chaos.Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mahajan expressed hope that there will be a healthy discussion on various issues during the Winter Session. She said the members of various parties demanded a discussion on various issues including demonetization of high value notes.Prime Minister Modi, however, told the NDA allies that there was no need to be defensive on the government’s decision as there is widespread support for it and people are ready to face hardships for larger gains.He urged NDA allies to go to the public and explain the long-term benefits of demonetization in curbing corruption and black money.The Prime Minister also asked them not to buckle under the opposition’s pressure.Meanwhile, the Government has convened an all-party meeting today to seek cooperation from leaders of the both the Houses for smooth functioning of Parliament.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy asks PM to form multi-agency SIT to probe Tatas
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has demanded constitution of a multi-agency SIT to probe allegations of “certain fraudulent transactions” in Air Asia levelled by Cyrus Mistry following his removal as chairman of the Tata Group.
Swamy, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said the SIT should comprise officials from CBI, Enforcement Directorate and SEBI as the charges involved a gamut of offences.
The Rajya Sabha MP recalled that he had in an earlier letter to Modi questioned Ratan Tata‘s role as Indian partner in Air Asia and Vistara Airlines “in complete violation” of the laws of the country.
Hot on the heels of Mistry’s ouster alleging fraudulent transactions at AirAsia India, the Aviation Ministry had said all issues would be looked into and “law of the land will have to be followed” in case of any violation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid Indo-Pak tension, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has backed the call for a ban on Pakistani artists from working in India, saying the consciousness of the Indian people cannot be diluted by allowing them to perform in the country. “Today we are in a situation where we have to prepare the country’s mind that it may be a possibility in future that we may have to go to war. We have been at war with Pakistan four times already, it is not an unusual event,” Swamy said at a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organised by the students of New York University here. “To prepare the mind of the people, we cannot allow these dilutions of cinema artists and cricket players coming to our country and playing. We cannot allow that. The day normalcy comes in Pakistan, we will be the first to resume cricket and cinema,” he said at the conference yesterday. Swamy said while war is no solution, the Narendra Modi government will not tolerate terrorism and “if it comes we will retaliate by means that are available to us”. “The mood of the country that I see over the years is only getting hardened and it reflects itself in places where many people would think we shouldn’t be really stepping in, for example on (Pak) artists not coming (in india). But that is the mood in the country that they dont want any dilution of our attitude to Pakistan at this present moment. It is a gloomy picture for negotiated settlement and dialogue. We will not allow dilution of this consciousness because if you have to prepare for something, then you cannot allow dilution of consciousness so all this naach gaana business will go as a consequence of it,” he said. Swamy added that no one should normally object to culture and arts in a political warfare but given the current situation between India and Pakistan, where “we are not in a war-like situation but (there is) a possibility of war by miscalculation. Therefore we have to be prepared.” Swamy was heckled by a student at the conference when he made the remark that after the Mosul attack by American support forces, many ISIS members were now thinking of taking sanctuary in Pakistan. Swamy asserted that the “one mistake” India has made in Kashmir, apart going to the UN on the issue, is “not to make it absolutely clear that no discussion will ever take place with Pakistan on the status of Kashmir. The only discussion that will take place is how to end terrorism”. Swamy said unless the political authority begins to assert itself in Pakistan to discipline its army, to discipline its ISI and put an end to all the terrorists living freely in Pakistan, “I think it will be impossible for any government of India to have a dialogue on wide ranging items”.”Political normalcy between India and Pakistan is something which we in India think is fruitless and therefore should not be engaged in,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Ram temple issue is not a poll plank but a matter of faith and should not be connected to upcoming UP elections, BJP leaders said, a day after party leader Vinay Katiyar’s remarks that only “lollipops” were being offered in the name of the temple raised eyebrows. BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy went to the extent of assuring Katiyar that the Ram temple at Ayodhya will come up in 2017 and the museum, land for which is being taken now, will only come up later by 2019.”Ram mandir will be constructed. As per our tradition, the temple is not constructed alone and such museums will also come up around it. Only land for the museum is being taken and it will come up later only by 2019. The Ram temple will come up before and that is why Katiyar should be rest assured,” Swamy said.He also claimed that the attempt is that Ram Mandir should come up by 2017 as it is a promise made by BJP in the 2014 manifesto. “It is not statement of faith. We have to keep our promise even if delayed,” he said.Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Uma Bharti said that Ram temple is not a political issue but a matter of faith for them.”Ram Mandir is not a political issue, it is a matter of faith…First you ask whether Ram Mandir is not on the agenda, then you will make headlines that Ram Mandir is not an issue and BJP has abandoned it. If we don’t say, you say BJP has abandoned the Ram mandir.”If reaction is given then you say whether Ram Mandir is the only issue. Ram Mandir is a matter of faith. We need to move forward on the issue on the basis of discussion or on the basis of court’s order. Some people are trying to divert attention,” Naidu said.Bharti said that there is talk that BJP is raising the Ram Mandir issue as there are polls in Uttar Pradesh but it not so.”Ram issue is not a poll issue. It is about faith. It is a question of life and death. We are ready to even give our life for Ram Temple,” she said, adding that the issue in UP polls is corruption and lawlessness.RSS sympathiser Rakesh Sinha said there is no relation between Ram temple and the museum, which is to beautify Ayodhya. “Ram temple issue is that of faith and dignity and there should be no controversy over Ayodhya’s beautification and Ram temple,” he said. Naidu also blamed the media and said Ram Temple talk is a their creation and BJP will fight elections on the issue of development and good governance.He said people raise issues and then ask for the opinion of the leaders and then start commenting. The Minister asked what was wrong in having the Museum of Ramayana. The Union Minister also questioned whether people hail Ravana on Dussehra, supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying “Jai Shri Ram” during his address on the day in Lucknow.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what may give the opposition parties fresh ammunition to target the saffron party in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday stirred a controversy with his remark that his party would unite the Hindu community by resolving the Ram Temple issue and divide the minorities in order to emerge victorious in the politically crucial state.”Development is necessary to win election in the nation but it is not everything. To win the elections, it is important to focus on our priority. The conspiracy played against us in the past was to divide the Hindus and unite the minorities. But this time we will do just the opposite, we will unite the Hindus and will divide the minorities as much as possible,” Swamy told ANI.Highlighting the pro-development initiatives of former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao besides Congress veteran Morarji Desai, Swamy said that they failed to win the elections for their party despite all efforts.Swamy said it is important to focus on three issues to win the elections that is corruption, development and the Ram Temple issue.The BJP leader further said it is impossible that the Ram Temple issue does not attract eyeballs at a time when election is scheduled to take place in Uttar Pradesh.Early today, Swamy said the Ram Temple issue is part of the BJP’s 2014 manifesto, adding it is the party’s obligation to the people to deliver on this promise.”The Ram issue is a part of our manifesto in 2014, how can we run away from it. We have to deliver,” Swamy told ANI.Yesterday, the Congress Party accused the BJP for selling the name of Lord Ram to siphon off a victory in Uttar Pradesh.”The Congress has nothing to do with the BJP constructing a museum there (Ayodhya), or the Samajwadi party organising things for the Ramayana mela. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is selling the name of Ram in the wake of coming UP polls,” said Congress leader DP Singh.Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, on the other hand, asked the BJP-led Central government to intensify its efforts to construct Ram temple in Ayodhya instead of giving ‘lollipop’ (Ram museum) to please the people, who are demanding the construction of the temple.”It’s a big mistake; effort should be made to construct the Ram Mandir (temple); this “lolipapi” (handing over Ramayana Museum as lollipop to please the people who are demanding the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya) won’t work. People ask when will be the Ram Temple constructed?This (Ramayana Museum) is a lollipop, it doesn’t have much importance, and thus, they should make positive effort. I would have said this had I been there. It’s good that I did not go there,” Katiyar told ANI.
New Delhi: A controversy has broken out over the last minute cancellation of a planned briefing on surgical strikes at the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Defence on Friday with two senior Congress members dubbing it “highly unacceptable” and pitching for bringing back the original agenda.
“The decision not to brief the committee over surgical strikes under the garb of secrecy only amounts to ‘lack of confidence’ in the Members of Parliament, who are in the committee and who are bound by the oath of secrecy. This position is absolutely unacceptable to us,” party General Secretaries Ambika Soni and Madhusudan Mistry said in a joint statement.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who is also a member of the Standing Committee, however, differed saying the decision should be left to the army. Mistry said they have written to Committee’s Chairman BC Khanduri telling him the move is “highly unacceptable”.
“We are deeply disappointed over the last minute change of agenda,” they said, adding “We demand that the original agenda of the forthcoming Committee meeting should be maintained and also defence officials inform the Committee about the number of surgical strikes carried out since 2004.”
“It is our firm belief that the officials should brief the standing committee members as they briefed the leaders of the opposition parties on the above said issues.” They insisted it’s high time the attitude of the defence officials towards the standing committee members “change for the better” and committee is informed of the “shortcomings” the forces are facing in combating adversaries on borders.
“We believe that the agenda must have been fixed after consultation with top officials of defence ministry. We see no reason why this has been changed and that too at the last minute,” they said.
They said this is not the first such instance and the agenda of such meetings has been changed earlier too. They complained that it’s unfortunate that they come to know of the shortage of arms and ammunition to the Special Forces, who carried out surgical strikes through newspaper, but the army officials are not ready to discuss or answer queries to be raised in the meeting of Standing Committee Members.
Speaking separately of the two Congress leaders, BJP’s MP Swamy said, “If the Army feels that something has to be kept secret for sometime, there is no way we in the committee can challenge it. The Committee chairman is consulted by the Army chief and the chairman also interacts with the government.”
However, Soni and Mistry blamed the Defence Ministry for not presenting their policies and preparedness to meet emergency situations, despite repeated mentions at the meetings.
Besides, they said the ministry has not come out with valid reasons for delay in acquisition of Defence equipment including arms and ammunition. “The Make in India initiative also seems to be a complete failure in the Defence sector,” they opined.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him to impose President’s rule in Tamil Nadu in the wake of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa undergoing treatment.Swamy alleged that during the ‘ad hoc administrative situation in the state’, there is massive disorder and lawlessness in Tamil Nadu.Jayalalithaa, 68, was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for fever and dehydration on September 22. Subsequently, Apollo Hospitals said she was cured of fever and needed to be in the hospital for observation.”The Union Government should declare President’s Rule in Tamil Nadu in view of the administrative disarray in the state following the indefinite hospitalisation of the Chief Minister and her having to remain for health reasons incommunicado. A retired Chief Secretary has been allowed to conduct the business of the state,” Swamy wrote in his letter.”During this ad hoc administrative situation, there has been an activization of the sleeper cell of the ISIS in the districts of Ramanathapuram, Tirunveli, Madurai and Kanya Kumari and a collaborative and supportive action by the Dravida Kazhagam, leftover LTTE, and disruptive groups such as underground Naxalites, to create an upheaval in the state causing a massive disorder and lawlessness,” he added.In his letter, the senior BJP leader urged the Home Minister to—‘invoke Article 356 of the Constitution, put the Legislative Assembly in suspended animation and impose the AFSPA in all southern districts as well as Chennai for a period of six months till Jayalalithaa is able to attend office.'”The Apollo hospital has expressly made clear in the Press Release that she is required to remain in hospital for a further period. Hence the pre-emptive action by the Union Government is not only constitutional but also urgent,” the letter said.The AIADMK workers have been holding special prayers for the good health of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and yesterday distributed food to the poor at Anand Sai Temple.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi have accused BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of seeking “fishing and roving enquiry” in the National Herald case by calling for certain documents from the party and the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL).The Congress top brass has claimed before a Delhi court that Swamy wants to make out a “new case” against it by taking recourse of a “fishing” probe in the matter. The Gandhis, who along with leaders like Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda are accused in the case, have also opposed Swamy’s contention seeking summoning of Income Tax records from Congress party and AJL, saying these entities were not accused and hence their records cannot and should not be disclosed for maintaining their “confidentiality”. The vehement opposition to Swamy’s submissions was made in the written reply filed before the court by the Gandhis and others before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen.They also sought dismissal of Swamy’s plea with exemplary costs. Swamy has accused them of allegedly conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which AJL owed to the Congress party. All accused have denied the allegations levelled against them. The court had issued notices to Gandhis and the other accused and the company Young Indian Pvt Ltd on August 27, seeking their replies within two weeks. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 4.”The complainant (Swamy) has set up a particular case and it is his duty to prove the same. However, the present application contemplates to create a situation where a ‘fishing and roving enquiry’ could be set into motion beyond the scope of averments made in the complaint and case set up by the complainant in case the application is allowed… “The complainant through this application is seeking to call for documents without divulging their necessity and desirability on the basis of the allegations made by him in his complaint. Thereby, the complainant seeks to access documents in an attempt to make out a new case,” the reply said, adding that “the endeavour of the complaint of not providing a list of witnesses also shows the malafide nature of the current application”. The Congress leaders’ reply also said that Swamy’s application reflected casualness as some of the sought documents were already on record of this case and some were exhibited by witnesses during the recording of the pre- summoning evidence in case. The reply said “Swamy proceeded to move a wholly vague application demanding a series of documents to be summoned, without divulging even an iota of material as to the relevance and desirability of documents mentioned in application….” It claimed that a witness was already called from ROC (Registrar of Companies) at the stage of recording pre- summoning evidences and “to now again summon documents from the ROC falls within the parameter of a fishing and roving enquiry, as the case has already been set up by complainant during the course of recording of pre-summoning evidence”.”The complainant has also sought documents from the Income tax authorities regarding parties (Congress and AJL) which are not accused in the matter. In such a scenario, IT Act contains sections pertaining to confidentiality of IT records which prohibit disclosure of information of assesses,” it said. In his application, Swamy had sought documents relating to a loan given by the Congress to the AJL, the holding firm of the National Herald, saying these were necessary for the purposes of trial in the case.He had also sought some documents from ROC which were filed by the AJL and papers from the Department of Income Tax (DoT) in relation to income tax returns filed by AJL. The documents sought from AJL included “authorisation by the members of the AJL to borrow monies in excess of its paid- up capital and free reserve of AJL, relevant extracts from the books of accounts of AJL during the period of loan and documents by which the loan was converted into shares in the books of AJL.” Swamy also sought summoning documents from “the Congress party reflecting the loans given to AJL and documents of the party in the year in which the loan was written off.” He also wanted summoning of “documents filed by AJL with ROC and certain papers from the DoT.”The application was filed by Swamy after the Delhi High Court set aside trial court’s orders summoning documents and the balance sheet of the Congress party for 2010-2011, holding that they were passed without hearing the opposite side and the lower court orders violated the “principle of natural justice” and the right to life and liberty under the Constitution.In its July 12 verdict, the High Court had said the trial court orders of January 11 and March 11 seeking documents from Ministries of Finance and Urban Development, Department of Corporate Affairs and Income Tax Department and the summoning of certain documents pertaining to financial details of the party for 2010-2011, were “passed in a casual manner” and “without application of mind”. The high court’s order came on the pleas of Fernandes, Vora, Dubey, Pitroda and YI. Gandhi’s had not moved the high court against summoning of the documents and balance sheet.
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Sunday launched a fresh attack on Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, terming his continuance in job as “tolerance”.
“Arvind S called Namo a mediocre leader, efficient in riots & asked US to grill India in WTO for drug cos mkt access, is CEA! Tolerance!!” Swamy tweeted.
However, the appointment of Kenya-born Urjit Patel’s appointment as new RBI Governor getting support of Swamy surprised many as the vocal BJP MP had targeted outgoing RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, saying the former IMF economist was “mentally not fully Indian” and was holding US Green Card.
After Rajan announced that he will not opt for a second term, Swamy had in late June trained his guns on Arvind Subramanian and demanded his sacking for allegedly taking anti-India stance when he was an IMF economist at Washington prior to joining the Finance Ministry.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had debunked Swamy’s call for sacking Subramanian, saying, “Government has full confidence in CEA. His advice to government from time to time has been of great value.”
Seemingly unrepentant, Swamy had then tweeted: “If an Indian, held patriotic, can advise a foreign nation where he works, to twist India’s arm, is to be forgiven, then I suspend my demand.”
Subramanian was appointed CEA by the BJP government in October 2014 after his predecessor Rajan moved to the RBI as Governor in September 2013.
Swamy had been attacking Rajan over his inflation-centric monetary policy and accused him of being “mentally not fully Indian” as he was in the country on a US Green card.
The government on Saturday elevated RBI deputy governor Urjit Patel as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank. He will succeed Rajan who demits office on 4 September.
When one of the Twitterati sought to target Swamy in a tweet saying: “Double standards of @Swamy39, who attacked #RaghuramRajan for being a GreenCard holder though Indian citizen and another for #UrjitPatel”, Swamy replied: “If you can’t tell the difference then you are in the Buddhu class”.
On Saturday, in a string of retweets and replies to his Twitter followers, Swamy said it would be utter “idiotic” to think he would attack Patel because he was born in Kenya.
When one of his Twitter followers criticised Patel for being a Kenyan national, Swamy replied: “He is not Kenyan citizen but was. R3 was born Indian & chose to continue his US Green Card even though in India from 2007.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ending two months of intense speculation, the Union government on Saturday appointed Urijit Patel as the 24th governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years. Patel, seen as a close aide of outgoing governor Raghuram Rajan and deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, will assume office on September 5, a day after Rajan’s term ends. He will be one among the few governors – after Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan – to be appointed to the top post from outside the IAS circle.How did the scales tilt in favour of Urijit Patel when there were equally qualified experts like Arvind Subramanian, chief economic advisor, or Shantikanta Das, economic affairs secretary? Was he handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself? Of course, opinion among economists, bankers and other stake-holders are divided on these counts, though most experts opine that probably the government wanted a continuity in the monetary policies and didn’t want any disruptions by bringing in a new candidate.The challenges before the new governor, however, would be to continuing to keep his grip on inflation, helping banks in strengthening their balance sheets and bringing in regulations that will ensure the stability of the financial system. Many believe that 53-year-old Patel’s prime focus will be to keep the galloping inflation under control though a granular surveillance on the interest rates. Urijit Patel, deputy governor since January 2013, has been a key figure in framing the monetary-policy framework that set food price inflation as the target for tackling inflation rather than focus on whole sale price inflation, which gave more weightage to industrial production. Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, SBI said, “Dr. Patel has been at the helm of instiutionalising the inflation targeting regime in the monetary policy framework. His appointment signals continuity of policy intent both on the part of RBI and the government.”The six-member rate setting committee will be set up shortly after the government appoints its three members. In the new role, Urijit Patel will have the flexibility to implement the policies on inflation and interest rates that he helped to formulate. And he takes over at a time when retail inflation and the whole sale inflation have both overshot expectations at 6.07% and 3.55% respectively.Ashutosh Khajuria, executive director, Federal bank said, “Patel is seen as Rajan’s lieutenant and the government wants to see continuity. It was his paper on monetary policy recommendations that set CPI as inflation target and the government has notified a 4% medium-term inflation target (with tolerance levels plus or minus 2%) has now become a legislation endorsed by the parliament. So his credentials as a economic policy expert is impeccable.” Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank said, “His appointment would ensure a smooth transition and continuity in monetary policy, as India puts in place major structural reforms to transition to a higher growth path.”Patel, who completed his graduation programme from the London school of economics, has an MPhil from Oxford University and a doctorate in Economics from Yale university (1990). His previous assignment included terms with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Brookings Institution at Washington and the Massachusetts-based Boston Consulting Group and Reliance Industries and non-executive director of the multi-commodity Exchange of India Ltd.Patel will contribute to India’s growth story: JaitleyFinance minister Arun Jaitley exuded confidence that Urjit Patel will contribute to India’s economic development as the next Reserve Bank governor. “I’m sure he will successfully lead the Reserve Bank & contribute to India’s economic development,” Jaitley tweeted congratulating Patel.It’ll be idiotic to attack Patel: Subramanian SwamyUrjit Patel’s appointment appeared to have support of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who had launched a series of attacks against the outgoing governor Raghuram Rajan. In a string of retweets and replies to his Twitter followers, Swamy said it will be utter “idiotic” to think he will attack Patel because he was born in Kenya.When one of his followers criticised Patel for being a Kenyan national, Swamy replied: “He is not a Kenyan citizen, but was. R3 was born Indian and chose to continue his US green card even though in India from 2007.” R3 is the acronym he uses for referring to Raghuram Rajan.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, whose tweets have not gone down well with the party leadership, indicated on Friday that he will be less active on his favourite media platform for a week to “concentrate” on cases involving Ram Temple, National Herald and Aircel Maxis.He, however, also made a tweet over India’s GDP calculation that raised a few eyebrows. “If I apply Samuelson-Swamy Theory of Index Numbers to India’s GDP calculation or RBI interests rates, media will scream anti-party activity!” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few hours later, he tweeted, “Now Ram Temple, NH, impleading in Swami Dayananda’s WP in SC, Aircel Maxis, CSK ban etc requires me to concentrate. So few tweets for 1 week.” He also took a dig at journalists.”I filed 2G Scam case, lawyers made a lot of money defending the crooks. Now because of my tweets, presstitutes raking in cash in trucks!!”One of his tweets was over the killing of a Hindu priest in Bangladesh. “It is painful to see daily murder of Hindu priests and activists in B’Desh. Hindu blood was shed to liberate these barbarians to create B’Desh,” he said.
BJP MP Subramnian Swamy, who had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s disapproval for his “craving for publicity”, on Wednesday suggested that it is publicity which “relentlessly seeks” him as he wrote about hordes of media persons waiting outside his residence. He also said that he stands by Modi as he admires his spine but took a dig at journalists planting “deliberately false stories” to provoke him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”New problem: when publicity relentlessly seeks a politician. 30 OVs outside the house, 200 missed calls from channels and paparazzis?” he tweeted.”Presstitutes are daily planting deliberately false stories hoping I will be provoked to reply. Ha! They have a hope!,” he said in another tweet. “I have said before and saying now: Come hell or high water I stand by Modi. I admire his spine. No foreign power can buckle him,” he added.The Rajya Sabha member, who consistently attacked RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and then took potshots at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has been lying low after the BJP leadership indicated its unhappiness and Modi voiced disapproval of his conduct.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s complaint about alleged breakdown of governance in Delhi has been forwarded to the Home Ministry by the President’s Secretariat.In a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee last week, Swamy had sought his intervention alleging that the AAP government was functioning in a “highly arbitrary, unreasonable and malafide” manner. Swamy had also alleged that Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung was playing a “mischievous” role of abetting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the behest of the Congress party and, at the same time, appearing to oppose the AAP leader in public.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President’s Secretariat conveyed to Swamy that his communication has been forwarded to the Home Secretary. In the letter, Swamy had also mentioned about charges levelled by Kejriwal against BJP MP Maheish Girri in connection with murder of an NDMC official.Swamy said Jung should have categorically told Kejriwal that if he does not substantiate his allegations against Girri or apologise, he would recommend to the Centre dismissal of the AAP government. Swamy requested the President to ask the Union Home Ministry to issue a directive as per provision of the Constitution and seek a report asking on what basis Kejriwal and his colleagues have made allegations of murder against Girri.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apparent snub, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today turned philosophical quoting Lord Krishna to say that “a small change in one parameter effects changes in all variables”.”The world is in general equilibrium. A small change in one parameter effects changes in all variables. So Krishna advised: Sukh Dukhe…,” Swamy said in his tweet.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The full phrase goes: sukha-duḥkhe same kṛitvā lābhālābhau jayājayautato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasiTransalation: Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin.The phrase comes at a pivotal moment before battle when Krishna seeks to elevate Arjun from the mundane existence. Having addressed Arjun’s concern, he advises him to do his duty without being attached to the fruits of his actions. The newly-nominated BJP MP also posted some other tweets and re-tweeted those of his followers but made no comments on the statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday. Ticking off Swamy, Modi had yesterday disapproved of his attacks on Raghuram Rajan calling them “inappropriate” and asserted the RBI Governor was “no less patriotic than us”.In a veiled message to him, the Prime Minister said in a television interview that the nation will not benefit from “such craving for publicity” and added “if anybody considers himself above the system then it is wrong”. Breaking his silence on BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s diatribe against policy makers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a clear message of disapproval of ‘fondness for publicity’ or crossing party line.Modi’s criticism came amidst indications that the BJP was getting upset with Swamy’s open attack on finance minister Arun Jaitley and officials. Without naming anyone, Modi has subtly backed Jaitley, who was the main target of Swamy’s tirade.“Whether it is in my party or nor, 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,” Modi said in an interview to a private news channel, when asked about the appropriateness of the comments of the Rajya Sabha MP in the context of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.Modi’s criticism of Swamy’s comments were also reflected in his praise of Rajan describing him as being as patriotic as anyone. The Rajya Sabha MP had said that the RBI governor was more American than an Indian. “Rajan was as much a patriot… My experience with him has been good and I appreciate the work he has done. He is no less patriotic. He loves India. Wherever he will work, he will work for India and he is patriotic.”
The Congress Party has downplayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s veiled attack on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for his continuous tirade against RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, saying the latter could have spoken much earlier and prevented the situation from escalating.Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Anand Sharma said it for the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah to deal with the internal conflicts happening within their party.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We wish Prime Minister Modi had spoken earlier. Perhaps that would have prevented the situation from aggravating. What is happening in his party is for him and his party president to deal with, but these (Swamy) are gifts that they have given to themselves,” Sharma told ANI.In an interview to Times Now, Prime Minister Modi disapproved of Swamy’s attacks on Raghuram Rajan and some top Finance Ministry officials. He termed the criticism as inappropriate.”I believe Raghuram Rajan’s patriotism is no less than any of ours. It will be doing injustice to him if one says that he will serve the country only if he is at a particular post. As much as I know Raghuram Rajan, whatever post he holds, wherever he is, he is someone who will continue to serve the country,” he said.”He is someone who loves his country. Therefore, it’s not like the nation won’t get Raghuram Rajan’s services, Raghuram Rajan is not that kind of a person. He is a person who loves the country. Those who speak such language are doing great injustice to him,” he added.Prime Minister Modi’s comments assume significance in the context of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the BJP distancing themselves from Swamy’s recent attacks on Raghuram Rajan, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramananian and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
Breaking his silence on BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s diatribe against policy makers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a clear message of disapproval of ‘fondness for publicity’ or crossing party line.Modi’s criticism came amidst indications that the BJP was getting upset with Swamy’s open attack on finance minister Arun Jaitley and officials. Without naming anyone, Modi has subtly backed Jaitley, who was the main target of Swamy’s tirade.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Whether it is in my party or nor, 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,” Modi said in an interview to a private news channel, when asked about the appropriateness of the comments of the Rajya Sabha MP in the context of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.Modi’s criticism of Swamy’s comments were also reflected in his praise of Rajan describing him as being as patriotic as anyone. The Rajya Sabha MP had said that the RBI governor was more American than an Indian. “Rajan was as much a patriot… My experience with him has been good and I appreciate the work he has done. He is no less patriotic. He loves India. Wherever he will work, he will work for India and he is patriotic,” Modi said.In the past few hours, Swamy’s twitter account has been bereft of any stinging onslaught. Before the Prime Minister’s interview was aired, Swamy had tweeted “No one asked me not to participate much less than the party President”. A function in Mumbai where he was to speak on emergency was cancelled by the party.Modi, in his address to party workers in Allahabad, had given a seven-point code of conduct– service, balance, restraint, coordination, constructive approach, sensitivity and dialogue. To a question about it, Modi said “my message is very clear. I have no confusion about it.”Last week, Swamy had said that he did not care about what Jaitley said and that he spoke directly to the PM and party chief Amit Shah. Jaitley, who was in China, had responded to Swamy on twitter., defending Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das. The BJP, however, had been silent over the past three days as Swamy’s attack intensified and even got personal. A BJP leader had expressed the party’s anguish over it and was of the view that a message should go from the leadership warning Swamy. Modi’s words may have put at rest the speculation over Swamy’s unbridled offensive.BJP leaders were of the view that Swamy had crossed the line. On Friday, he had said “People giving me (unsolicited) advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a blood bath.” In another tweet, he said BJP should direct ministers to wear traditional clothes while abroad and that in coat and tie they looked like “waiters”.The question is how long will Swamy be silent.
Trouble is brewing for government in the Monsoon session of Parliament, which is expected to start next month, with main opposition Congress on Monday hinting at stacking up ammunition on issues like failure at NSG, terror strikes and diatribes of Subramanian Swamy.”Parliament will have an interesting session this time,” party spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters.Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a host of issues, especially India’s failure at the NSG meet, he said that the Prime Minister should realise that “diplomacy is not a sound and light show”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Our Prime Minister has no knowledge of diplomacy. It is not a Sound & Light show. Foreign policy is done with a sense of maturity. Diplomacy is conducted in very silent, sober manner. But, we see none of that,” Sibal said, remarking that the “Prime Minister likes to be on TV”.Taking a dig at the Prime Minister over his remarks on the NSG issue, he wondered as to what was the point of saying Mexico and Switzerland were on India’s side? “We love Modiji, but we love India more. Do not lower its image in the international community by light and sound shows,” he said, reminding the Prime Minister that the 123 agreement with the US was achieved by India during the UPA rule “without pomp and show”.He said that senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who was the External Affairs Minister in the NDA-1 Government, had wondered as to why India was pushing for an entry into the NSG when it has got the waiver way back in 2008.Raising the issue of terror strikes, he alleged that “the product of Modi Government’s foreign policy is Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Pampore. That’s the reality on the ground”.Referring to Modi’s surprise Lahore visit, he said that the Prime Minister during the UPA tenure never went to Pakistan to celebrate weddings and birthdays. In fact, the Prime Minister in the UPA era made it clear that while India wanted talks, normalisation of ties with Pakistan was not possible till it cooperated in bringing to book those involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, he said.Claiming that 50 terrorists have crossed the Pakistan border in past five months, he said that they have continued attacking Indian soldiers. “We want to ask the Prime Minister till when are we supposed to suffer these attacks?”.Sibal also attacked the RSS for plans to hold Iftar parties. “While our security forces are getting martyred, RSS is busy holding Iftar parties for Pakistani diplomats,” he said recalling the way Modi used to target the UPA on the issue.Replying to a question on BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, Sibal wondered as to what is the use of the Prime Minister now disapproving Swamy’s attacks when RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has already said no to a second term.
Congress on Monday took a veiled dig at Subramanian Swamy describing the controversial BJP MP as “nuclear fissile material” brought in Parliament by the ruling party which was bound to “implode” it.”They have brought nuclear fissile material in Parliament and has kept it there. It will implode them. (Finance Minister Arun) Jaitley is feeling being imploded”, party spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters without taking the name of Swamy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apparently referring to Swamy’s attacks on Jaitley, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and Finance Ministry officials, he said that such a thing had never happened during the UPA rule.”What is the use of the Prime Minister now disapproving Swamy’s attacks when RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has already said no to a second term”, he said replying to a question on Prime Minister’s response to the issue in an interview. He also suggested that the Prime Minister, who has completed two years in office, should address a press conference, instead of giving an interview to a news channel.”Modiji, have a press conference. Let our journalists ask you questions. This is better than an interview with one person”, he remarked.He also attacked the Prime Minister and the BJP for targeting Congress over the Emergency imposed 41 years back when Indira Gandhi was at the helm. “How do you have an anniversary on Emergency & how do you do a ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Emergency”, he wondered.Alleging that there was a “silent emergency” in place since the Modi government took over, he claimed that even BJP veteran L K Advani had spoken of the danger.Advani, he recalled, had remarked sometime back that “at the present point of time the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution and legal safeguards, are stronger.”Insisting that the issue of Emergency was being raised by the ruling party for “petty politics”, he said the Emergency of 1975 can never happen today because of amendments in the Constitution.Taking a dig at the government, he reminded it that there are “many emergencies in India to be dealt with like farmers emergency, drought emergency & unemployment emergencies. Deal with them.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words defending Raghuram Rajan’s work and Indianness would have come as a major comfort to the outgoing governor, who had to face a barrage of personal attacks from the BJP maverick MP Subramanian Swamy on his patriotism and personal integrity, although Rajan would have hoped Modi’s statements came earlier.
Swamy had attacked Rajan for being “mentally not fully Indian” and on the governor’s personal integrity and professional efficiency. But, on Monday, in an interview to Times Now Television channel, Modi refused to back Swamy, instead praised Rajan. Modi called attacks on Rajan as “inappropriate” and said Rajan is “no less patriotic” than anyone. “Kisi se bhi Raghuram Rajan ki deshbakti kam nahi hai (Raghuram Rajan’s patriotism is no less than anyone),” Modi said.
Modi simultaneously added that no one should consider himself above the system.
Now, this statement is easy to interpret as an explicit warning to Swamy, who has made controversial statements not just against Rajan, but also against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his trusted aides in the finance ministry, CEA Arvind Subramanian and Economic Advisor Shaktikanta Das. Swamy had even said that if he hadn’t followed party decorum, there would have been “bloodbath” in an indirect response to Jaitley who earlier said that politicians should exercise “restraint” on government officials.
Besides Rajan, Swamy had also attacked CEA Subramanian for allegedly siding with the US companies in his 2013 testimony to US Congress and Das for facilitating Congress leader P Chidambaram’s alleged land deal in Mahabalipuram. Swamy also alleged that the CEA encouraged the Congress party to go “rigid” on the crucial Goods ad Services Tax (GST).
On Monday, Modi didn’t economise words in dismissing Swamy’s attacks.
“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 PM told the channel.
But, on a closer look, this statement — if anybody considers himself above the system that is wrong — could be a light tap on the knuckles for Rajan as well because, during his three year stint, Rajan has made several controversial, politically sensitive comments including his “one-eyed King in the land of blind” on Indian economic growth and criticism on several government initiatives including ‘Make in India’ and ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’. In this context, one can interpret that Modi’s warnings apply to Rajan as well.
Remember, Modi didn’t jump in to support Rajan when Swamy began his attacks. The PM has largely remained silent on Swamy’s attacks on Rajan till now and had, earlier, played down questions on this as an “administrative issue” and something that shouldn’t be in the interest of media. Rajan eventually decided not to take up a second term and announced his decision in a letter to his staff on 18 June and released it publicly.
But, what is even more critical to note here is the next statement on Rajan.
Modi reiterated his confidence in the patriotism of Rajan and said Rajan will continue to serve the country no matter in what position he is. “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 is, he will work for India and he is patriotic.”
Now recall Rajan’s words in his farewell letter to his staff. “I will, of course, always be available to serve my country when needed.”
Reading between the lines, it makes you wonder if Modi is keeping the door open for a Rajan comeback in some other capacity.
But, one thing is clear. Both Modi and Rajan have left enough hints for the latter’s second innings in India, if not in the RBI, in the government, at a later stage. Modi’s take on Rajan in the interview and, on Swamy, are loaded with meanings that apply to both sides.
It appears that the BJP has had enough of Subramanian Swamy’s unguided missile attacks, and have moved fast to silence the outspoken Rajya Sabha MP. A report in Firstpost, claimed that a talk by Swamy at KC college in South Mumbai, that was scheduled for Saturday was cancelled following directive by party president Amit Shah.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swamy was supposed to speak at KC College at an event to discuss the Emergency. A source close to a senior BJP leader told Firstpost: “The party president told Swamy not to go for the event because of heavy rains in Mumbai. However, the real reason was that the senior party leadership was miffed over his recent remarks over Jaitley. The party wanted to avoid a situation which could lead to further controversy,”In fact, the report says, the leadership has directed Swamy shouldn’t be called for any public functions. Mumbai BJP head Ashish Shelar admitted the event had been cancelled but didn’t give the reason.Earlier, after he attracted criticism over his “waiter” jibe, Swamy made tongue-in-cheek remarks complimenting Jaitley for his “smart” looks and ticking off Robert Vadra, who spoke of the dignity of waiters. He said he did not target anybody and what he only wanted was politicians should not look like waiters. “The attire comment was not against anybody. I only said politicians should not look like waiters. There is nothing wrong in it (to wear such attires). I said they should not be mistaken…thats all,” Swamy said in press conference. “I did not aim anybody. Actually Mr Jaitley looks very smart in the attire. He looks like an exception,” he said.Subramanian Swamy attacked RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, and later traded his missile on CEA Arvind Subramanian, forcing Arun Jaitley to come in defence of his colleagues in the Finance Ministry. Swamy has said that he possesses a list of 27 names he have to ‘fix’.
With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy launching a series on attacks on political leaders and technocrats alike gaining massive criticism along the way, the Congress has accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi of backing Swamy saying his silence on the Rajya Sabha MP clearly means he is agreeing with his controversial statements.”PM Modi has brought him into the Rajya Sabha with the sole purpose of targeting certain people and with that causing disruption within the party. If the PM is still silent on this issue, then it means that he agrees with Swamy,” Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swamy came under attack after he posted on Twitter on Friday saying, “BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters.” Even though he didn’t name anyone, his tweet soon as Jaitley came on TV channels wearing a coat and tie while meeting officials in Beijing.However today, he said that his tweets on the matter had been taken out of context, adding that he thought that Jaitley looked quite good in western clothes when he travelled abroad. Speaking to the media, Swamy said that he had always targeted politicians in western threads when they travelled abroad, even during the UPA regime.”This is part of bharatiyakaran. I have always been in Indian clothes and I have always practiced what I preach. It was not aimed at anyone else. Actually Mr. Jaitley looks very good, he looks like an exception,” Swamy said.
The BJP got a breather on Saturday as its Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy turned his ire towards Robert Vadra for calling him “attention seeking” and “deplorable”. In his Facebook post, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi responded to Swamy’s comments that ministers while abroad wearing coat and tie looked like waiters, in an apparent jibe at finance minister Arun Jaitley who was wearing a suit during his Beijing visit. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”So is there no dignity in being a Waiter?!” Vadra wrote on Saturday. “The attention seeking BJP MP Swamy’s comment ‘Ministers who wear a coat and tie ‘look like waiters’ and must be instructed to wear Indian clothes.’Undermining waiters who work hard for a living; making condescending and derogatory remarks about them is deplorable and classist (sic).”Within minutes, Swamy snapped at him. “I think Mr Vadra should concentrate on staying out of jail and not comment on political issues,” he was quoted by news agencies as telling reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.However, a day after there were indications that the BJP was anguished over his comments against Union ministers and officials, Swamy played down his diatribe.He refuted that his comments on ministers wearing coats looking like waiters was aimed at Jaitley. “This is part of bharatiyakaran. I have always been in Indian clothes and I have always practiced what I preach. It was not aimed at anyone else. Actually Mr Jaitley looks very good, he looks like an exception,” Swamy said.Later, at a press conference he claimed that his threat of “bloodbath” was misunderstood and that he only hinted at “chaos”.“I said I am the most disciplined person. If I was indisciplined, there would not be what they called as bloodshed. Bloodshed did not mean blood spilling. Bloodshed means there will be chaos. And I said that because I am disciplined, nothing of that kind happened,” he said.Asked about the BJP’s unhappiness over his targeting the finance ministry, Swamy said he was not aware of it. Interestingly, Vadra’s reaction came even as the BJP refrained from making any public comment against its MP. The party, however, was upset with the unabated tirade unleashed by Swamy against senior ministers and officials. The BJP also was silent on Vadra’s castigation of Swamy, who has been targeting mainly Jaitley. Party sources had said that several leaders were of the view that the leadership should step in to ensure that Swamy stopped training his guns on ministers and officials.
Launching a fresh tidal wave of attack on Arvind Kejriwal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday alleged that the Delhi Chief Minister did not get into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur through competitive exams and did not hold a rank from the university.’According to the RTI reply on Kejriwal’s IIT entrance, it now turns out that Kejriwal did not come through the competitive exams. And you can see from the RTI in the last column that Kejriwal has no rank and that’s a clear sign that he came through some other method,’ Swamy said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that back in 1952 when the institute was set up the vacany was not given according to the order of marks, Swamy said that the seats were doled out illegally by the members of the managing board of the governors of IIT Kharagpur and it was stopped by the government in 2005.’The man who talks about poor being denied the privileges, he himself is the product of these privileged and he has never owned it. He should have had the courage to admit. I Call upon Mr. Kejriwal to give this explanation. Did he come to IIT though merit or he got in by skulduggeries that used to take place,’ Swamy said.This development comes in the wake of Kejriwal creating a furore over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degrees following which, a website named ‘thelotpot.com’ reportedly made big revelations regarding his IIT-Kharagpur background.As a proof, the website also posted a copy of an RTI reply on Kejriwal’s admission into IIT-K which showed that there is no record of the AAP chief’s rank card while the same is available for most of the students.Earlier, in a press release, Swamy cited an RTI reply received from IIT-K to his query asking the institute to provide the basis of Kejriwal’s entry into B Tech programme and his All India Rank (AIR) in any competitive exam such as JEE, etc.
Speaking in a press conference, Subramanian Swamy claimed that Arvind Kejriwal didn’t get a rank in IIT and that Sonia Gandhi had wanted to declare a state of Emergency in 2012. He told ANI: “Last row of RTI column shows that Kejriwal has no rank (IIT).He probably came through other methods-Subramanian Swamy. In 2012, Sonia Gandhi had decided to declare a state of emergency in the country by cooking up false Hindu terror charges.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also claimed that he wasn’t targeting Arun Jaitley and that the latter looked good in a suit. Swamy claimed that reports that the party were angry with him were false. He told ANI: “All such reports are false. I am addressing party meetings. These are rumours. If I want to target someone, I do it openly. In fact, Mr Jaitley looks very smart in a coat.”Earlier, Robert Vadra took a dig at Subramanian Swamy for his “derogatory” remarks about waiters and termed them “classist”, prompting the BJP MP to retort that he should concentrate on “staying out of jail” instead of making political comments. Vadra, who is Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, earlier in the day attacked Swamy over his apparent swipe at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in which he had said ministers who wear a coat and tie look like waiters and must be instructed to wear Indian clothes.In a Facebook post, Vadra said, “Undermining waiters who work hard for a living; making condescending and derogatory remarks about them is deplorable and classist”.Swamy soon hit back. “Mr Vadra should concentrate on staying out of jail instead of making political comments,” he told reporters.Asked about the reported unhappiness of the BJP leadership over his consistent tirade against Jaitley and his ministry’s officials, he said, “That is what your press is saying. I don’t know.””People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath,” he tweeted in an obvious attack on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Though he did not name Jaitley, he was obviously referring to the Minister urging him for restraint and discipline in the wake of his attacks on Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Wednesday and his use of the word discipline in defending Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das yesterday.In another apparent swipe at Jaitley, whose photographs of meeting with the Bank of China Chairman Tian Guoli in Beijing in a longue suit appeared in newspapers today, Swamy asked BJP to advise ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian cloths when abroad. “BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters,” Swamy said in another tweet. Swamy has been active on Twitter over the last two-three days, attacking officials of Finance Ministry and taking swipe at Jaitley.
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Friday virtually launched direct attacks at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley issuing threat of a “bloodbath” on being asked to show restraint and discipline, remarks that have not gone down well with the party.
“People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath,” he tweeted in an obvious attack on Jaitley.
Though he did not name Jaitley, he was obviously referring to the minister, who had a couple of days ago urged Swamy for restraint and discipline in the wake of his attacks on Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Wednesday and his use of the word discipline in defending Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday.
In another apparent swipe at Jaitley, whose photographs of meeting with the Bank of China Chairman Tian Guoli in Beijing in a lounge suit appeared in newspapers today, Subramanian Swamy asked BJP to advise ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian cloths when abroad.
“BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters,” Subramanian Swamy said in another tweet.
Swamy has been active on Twitter over the last two-three days, attacking officials of Finance Ministry and taking swipe at Jaitley. But his sharp attacks, especially the use of language like bloodbath, on Friday were said to have left the BJP and its leadership upset. Party sources said there was concern in the organisation and the leadership over the unbridled criticism aimed at the Finance Ministry.
They indicated that the party was not in a hurry to act against Swamy, a Rajya Sabha member, but would adopt a wait-and-watch attitude for some time.
A senior BJP leader sought to dispel the impression that Subramanian Swamy, who is said to enjoy the support of RSS, has its backing claiming RSS would not support such an open attack that harms the government’s and party’s image.
However, opposition leaders saw in Swamy’s attacks infighting in the government and the party which raised questioned whether he would be checked.
JD-U leader Pawan Verma said Swamy was sent to Rajya Sabha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and so what he says holds “some significace”.
“There is a great internal fight going on in the party and the government. People are asking questions about it and want to know whether Swamy will be checked,” he said.
RJD spokesman Manoj Jha also raised similar queries.
Washington: Welcoming Raghuram Rajan back to academics, the prestigious University of Chicago has said the outgoing RBI Governor’s experience as head of India’s top central banker will be of great benefit when he returns to research and teaching later this year.
“We are eager to welcome Professor Rajan back to the Chicago Booth faculty,” said University of Chicago Booth School of Business Dean Sunil Kumar.
Last week, Rajan, 53, announced that he will not seek renewal of his position as RBI Governor when his term expires in September and “will be returning to academia”.
“His experience as leader of the central bank of India will be of great benefit when he returns to his research and teaching at the school. We could not be more delighted to have this great scholar back in Chicago,” Kumar said yesterday.
Appointed to a three-year term in August 2013, Rajan took the helm as RBI Governor on September 5 of that year.
Shortly thereafter, he appointed an expert committee to revise and strengthen India’s monetary policy and he is viewed as having adeptly handled the country’s high inflation and debt problems, the Booth School said.
An International Monetary Fund chief economist from 2003- 06, Rajan is also widely known for his foresighted warnings of the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
Rajan studied engineering at Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi then obtained an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rajan’s book, “Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy” was published in 2010 and was named Winner of Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year.
There is an old story.
Once, the house got filled with rats. Too many of them. Someone advised the family to get a cat to kill the rodents. After all, who knows the job better than a cat? The cat was brought in and it did the work meticulously. Within a few days, all the rats are gone but then a bigger problem arose. With no rats left to hunt, our fighter tomcat turned restless. It claimed the first right over food items in the kitchen and, when denied, focused on destroying the utensils in the house one by one, causing the family to lose its sleep. Finally, the family decided to drive the cat away, but it wouldn’t go no matter what they did. The cat, thus, became a permanent pain in their lives.
For Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leadership, who launched maverick leader, Subrmanian Swamy to Parliament to spearhead the attack on the Gandhis and gain a psychological advantage over other ‘obstructionist’ opposition leaders, the 76-year-old pro-Hindutva leader, today, is lot like the cat in the old story.
Swamy has now fulfilled his original mandate (causing a flutter in the house by attacking Sonia, Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald, Agusta scams) but is now largely jobless. But, he can’t sit idle and hence, has begun causing troubles to the same family which hosted it, giving them sleepless nights.
After the successful ‘Operation R3’, launched to ensure Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan wouldn’t get a second term, Swamy has now trained his guns at Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian and economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das. This is totally unlike the Rajan episode, where Swamy had the silent support of senior BJP leadership who too were upset with Rajan overstepping his mandate and speaking on political issues. Hence, Swamy was given a silent go-ahead. But, that’s not the case with Arvind Subramanian and Shaktikanta Das, who are trusted sentinels of finance minister Arun Jaitley and friendly figures to the Raisina Hill.
One could deduce a clear pattern here. Swamy is attacking the finance ministry (the CEA and the Economic affairs secretary) with a two-pronged strategy. One, to destabilise the finance ministry headed by his nemesis Jaitley and claim the right for what is long denied to him despite his credentials after he joined the party in August 2013 – the finance minister berth. Swamy feels his potential has not been recognised by the BJP.
Second, consolidate his position in the BJP leadership by questioning and exposing the mistakes of Jaitley (who appointed officials with a ‘tainted’ past). While Swamy’s Rajan move was timed to the expiry of his term at RBI, the attacks on CEA and Das are timed seeing the impending cabinet reshuffle in mind.
But, Swamy has totally missed the plot here. Both Das and Subramanian have kept a relative low profile and have never overstepped their mandate. Both have full backing of Jaitley, evident from his comments shortly after Swamy’s twin-attacks. Jaitley has expressed “full confidence” in Subramanian and said “his advice has been of great value”. In the case of Das, Jaitley has tweeted that “it is an unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant”.
But, by confronting Jaitley, Swamy is probably beginning a fight he cannot finish. To begin with, Swamy do not have a strong case against CEA and Das unlike Rajan, who irked the BJP leader ship with his ‘One-eyed King’ remark and refusing to toe the government line on GDP growth. This could very well end up as the Waterloo for Swamy.
The charges raised by Swamy against Subramanian — acting against India’s interests siding US and encouraging the Congress party to be ‘rigid’ on GST—do not hold much water as Firstpost explained in an earlier article. In the case of Das, too, Swamy hasn’t offered any strong evidence to prove that Das facilitated P Chidambaram’s land deal in Mahabalipuram. The barrage of attacks made on the BJP government’s top officials when PM Modi is away and crucial UP election is due next year, wouldn’t be taken in good humor by the BJP top brass and not even by the Swamy’s supporters in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who appeared to side Swamy in the Rajan case.
In the latest episodes, they would ultimately stand by Jaitley, who weighs much more than Swamy in the larger political canvas. Swamy has made the scene even worse on Thursday by openly refusing to acknowledge Jaitley’s displeasure on his attacks on the CEA and Economic affairs secretary.
“Jaitleyji, kya bole kya nahi bole iss se mujhe kya lena Dena. Will talk to the party president and PM when required, right now it’s not needed as I’ve said what I had to say,” Swamy said when reporters cited Jaitley’s remarks on the CEA issue to him.
The short point here is this. Swamy’s attacks on finance ministry have a vivid pattern that is ultimately aimed at FM Jaitley. Swamy is chewing more than what he could bite since PM Modi is not someone who would tolerate dissents within his party like former PM Manmohan Singh.
Especially, when the BJP has already entered its crucial third year and the whole events can potentially upset the BJP’s focus on the larger agenda of pushing the reforms process, mainly cornering the opposition to give in on Goods and Services Tax (GST), and preparing ground for 2017 UP polls and 2019 general elections.
Ironically, at this stage when the BJP has barely caught a breath from an array of controversies haunted it in the past (JNU, Rohit Vemula and intolerance episode) and the Congress-led opposition is at its weakest point post the recent Rajya Sabha polls, Swamy is filling the void with his repeated self-goals.
Both PM Modi and RSS are unlikely to tolerate the Swamy Raj this time.
New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday appeared to target Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, which prompted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to call it an “unfair and false” attack on a disciplined civil servant.
“I think there a property deal case pending against him (Das) for assisting PC swallow Mahabalipuram prime locations,” Swamy tweeted on Thursday.
It was in reply to his twitter handle followers who had sought blacklisting of RBI Deputy Governor Urjit Patel and Das from RBI Governorship as well as sending Das back to his parent cadre Tamil Nadu.
Shortly thereafter, Jaitley, who is in China, tweeted, “An unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant in the Finance Ministry.”
Jaitley had yesterday led a strong defence of Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian after Swamy had attacked him, and rued how far politicians can go to attack those in government whose discipline and constraints of office restrain them from responding.
The Minister is in China to attend the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Board of Governor’s meeting.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday raised questions over the process for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s admission in the 1980s to IIT-Kharagpur from where he was awarded B Tech (Hons) degree.In a press release, he cited an RTI reply received from IIT-K to his query asking the institute to provide the basis of Kejriwal’s entry into B Tech programme and his All India Rank (AIR) in any competitive exam such as JEE, etc.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This information is not available, the institution said in the RTI reply.The institute gave other details of Kejriwal which included his Roll No in the Mechanical Engineering course and the years of study but did not provide the copy of grade sheet of subjects since it is exempted from disclosure under the transparency law. Swamy has been targeting Kejriwal of late. Earlier this week, he joined a protest fast by one of the Delhi BJP MPs Mahesh Girri against Kejriwal where he declared he would go after the Chief Minister the way he took on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
Hitting out against maverick BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday tweeted out that the MP’s outburst against Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian is “an unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant in the Finance Ministry.”
Swamy showed no sign of relenting even after Jaitley firmly backed the CEA in a press conference on Wednesday.
“Government has full confidence in CEA. His advice to government from time to time has been of great value,” the finance minister had said.
In a brazen and direct attack on the finance minister Thursday afternoon, Swamy responded to reporters by saying, “I have nothing to do with what Jaitley says. I might talk with the party president (Amit Shah), PM (Narendra Modi).”
Earlier on Thursday, Swamy in a series of tweets even dragged the Prime Minister into the raging controversy.
“If BJP Union govt says that we know all about AS but still he is an asset, then I will suspend my demand and wait for events to prove truth,” the BJP leader tweeted.
“If an Indian?, held patriotic, can advise a foreign nation where he works, to twist India’s arm, is to be forgiven, then I suspend my demand,” Swamy said in an apparent jibe to the government his party runs at the Centre.
Seemingly unrepentant, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said he will ‘suspend’ his demand for sacking the chief economic advisor if the government considers him patriotic despite his attempts in the past of trying to twist India’s arm.A day after the government came out in strong defence of CEA Arvind Subramanian in face of his barrage of attack, Swamy tweeted this morning “If an Indian?, held patriotic, can advise a foreign nation where he works, to twist India’s arm, is to be forgiven, then I suspend my demand”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”AS (Arvind Subramanian) to US Cong: “US initiatives by discriminating against India companies and exporters will exert pressure on India to open up” AS 13/3/13 !,” Swamy tweeted.Swamy had on Wednesday caused a flutter when he sought Subramanian’s sacking for allegedly taking anti-India stance when he was an IMF economist in Washington prior to joining the Finance Ministry.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley debunked Swamy’s call for sacking Subramanian saying “Government has full confidence in CEA. His advice to government from time to time has been of great value”.Subramanian was appointed CEA by the BJP government in October 2014 after his predecessor Raghuram Rajan moved to the RBI as Governor in September 2013.Swamy further tweeted today “If BJP Union govt says that we know all about AS but still he is an asset, then I will suspend my demand and wait for events to prove truth”.
With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy waging a war against Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian after targeting Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him if he plans on handing over the Finance Ministry to Swamy. “Is Modi handing over Finance Ministry to Subramaniam Swami? He has been claiming that PM has assured him as quid pro quo if he targetted Nehru Gandhi Family,” Singh said in a series of tweets.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also alleged that Swamy’s real target was not Subramanian, but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Staying true to his promise of training guns on bureaucrats ‘loyal’ to the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that he wants Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian to be sacked, as he had badmouthed India in the international arena and had also encouraged the grand old party to become rigid on their GST Bill clauses.Speaking to ANI, here after he tweeted against Arvind, Swamy reiterated his salvo he had used against RBI Chief Raghuram Rajan, saying that the CEA was a ‘green card holder’ and was probably not an Indian citizen. “He used to work in America and he is also a green card holder type. I don’t even know if he is a citizen or not but I’m sure he has a green card. There was this American Congress Committee for pharmaceutical purposes and they held a hearing to figure out India’s opinion on the matter. There he said in a statement that India was not working according to America in this matter and for that, they should be taught a lesson in WTO. How can we can such a person an advisor here?” Swamy said.Continuing his assault, he added that when Arvind was appointed by the Indian government, he gave a note to the Finance Ministry asserting that the clauses given by the Congress in the GST Bill were absolutely justified.”I think that such people who can fail our government should be tossed out. Now, it’s been two years and I think it’s about time,” he added.The senior BJP leader also said that he had a list of 27 people with him and that he will ‘fix’ them soon. Earlier, Swamy had welcome Rajan?s decision to leave his post as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor on the completion of his term, saying that he had taken such a step in order to save his ‘self respect’. Rajan had earlier announced that he would return to the academic world at the end of his term on September 4, 2016, adding he will always be available to serve his country when needed and asserted that his ‘successor’ would take the nation to new heights. Rajan is currently on leave from the Chicago Booth School of Business where he holds the post of Distinguished Service Professor of Finance.
BJP has said that it does not agree with Subramanian Swamy’s views on government’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. The party said that it was Swamy’s personal opinion.After targeting RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had trained his guns on Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and demanded his sacking. “Who said to US Cong on 13/3/13 the US should act against India to defend US Pharmaceuticals interests? Arvind Subramanian MoF !! Sack him!!!,” he tweeted. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swamy’s attack comes in the wake of reports of Arvind Subramanian being among the probable successors of Rajan as the country’s central bank chief. “Guess who encouraged Congi to become rigid on GST clauses? Jaitley’s economic adviser Arvind Subramanian of Washington DC,” Swamy tweeted, saying he is “helping Jaitely to recognise the enemies in our camp”.In a series of tweets attacking the chief economic adviser, who is an NRI, he said, “Now PTs (Patriotic Tweeples) can understand why our core economic sectors could not perform last two years. Trojan horses galore in MoF/Fin Institutions.” “Was AS (Arvind Subramanian) deposing before US Cong Committee against India as a US citizen or Indian? Does any PT know?,” he asked.Reacting to the attack, Congress leader Divijaya Singh said his target is not Arvind Subramanian but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is handing over Finance Ministry to Swamy. “Subramanian Swamy now guns for Arvind Subramanian Economic Advisor to NDA. Target is Arun Jaitley not Arvind Subramanian. Is Modi handing over Finance Ministry to Subramanian Swamy? He has been claiming that PM has assured him as quid pro quo if he targeted Nehru Gandhi Family,” Singh said in a series of tweets. Swamy had earlier launched a scathing attack on Rajan, who announced last week that he would return to academics after his current tenure as RBI Governor ends on September 4. Swamy had attacked Rajan, saying he is ‘unfit’ for the job and is ‘mentally not fully Indian’. Incidently, both Rajan and Arvind Subramanian have worked at the IMF. While Rajan was a UPA appointee, Arvind Subramanian was appointed by the Narendra Modi government.With agency inputs.
If Subramanian Swamy, BJP’s maverick leader, wants to target someone who has acted against the interests of the Indian economy and the country, he has good reasons to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Parliamentary affairs minister, Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu.
This is something Swamy should do if he agrees with Modi that foreign direct investment (FDI) is the need of the hour for this country.
After liberalising norms for FDI across several sectors on Monday, and after doing so for the second time in the past year, it was Modi who tweeted that the reform measures make India the most open economy in the world for FDI, boosting employment.
The FDI amendments will promote ease of doing business as there will now be 100 per cent FDI under the government approval route for trading, including e-commerce for food products manufactured or produced in India, the prime minister said.
Does Swamy agree with Modi, the prime minister, under whose party leadership he is a Member of Parliament now?
It is doubtful, since in the past, Swamy has spoken out against FDI in retail. But, if he has changed his views to support FDI, he should be out to sack the party’s senior leader and Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, who had vehemently opposed FDI when the BJP was in Opposition.
As seen in the picture above, it was Naidu, who was also former BJP president, who led a protest in Hyderabad on 21 November, 2012 where the placard shows the slogan: “Demolish FDI and save India”.
If Swamy can target RBI governor Raghuram Rajan for allegedly being loyal to US soil and for being “mentally half-Indian”, and then train his guns at chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian who allegedly acted against Indian pharma companies back in 2013, why not target Naidu, who blocked FDI — something that was very much needed to “generate employments” and “transform the economy”? Shouldn’t the law that guides Swamy to act against those acting against national interest apply to all?
Or for that matter, why not Modi himself?
In a tweet on 5 December, 2012, Modi himself tweeted against the UPA-government’s move to welcome FDI by accusing the Congress of giving the nation to foereigners.
This, going by the Swamy logic, is an act that has gone against the national interests and Modi should be sacked from the prime minister’s post for doing this in the past? And why not Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who when in Opposition, said he would oppose FDI in retail till his final breath. Last Monday, one of the segments that was opened up by the Modi government was 100 percent FDI was food retail.
There is no word as ‘politricks’ in the dictionary. But, a random search on the internet will fetch you the meaning: A word that refers to empty promises made by politicians that vapourise after elections.
If one takes the freedom to expand the meaning of ‘politricks’, it can also include the tricks employed by politicians who dramatically take U-turns on their stance on crucial issues when they change sides in a power game. In other words, something a political party vehemently protested against in the past when in Opposition, becomes a virtue when it comes to power.
The latest example of ‘politricks’ is in the BJP camp.
The new found love of the BJP for FDI makes one feel a sense of awe at the positive attitude of the party to foreign investments.
Now, if Swamy doesn’t share Modi’s love for FDI and being proud of the fact that the country is now the ‘most open economy for FDI’ in the country and instead, thinks that FDI is bad for the country, that would mean that Swamy is acting against the thinking of the government to which he has sworn allegiance, but in the interest of the RSS lobby, which is against the FDI move.
The RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has already termed Modi-government’s FDI norms in various sectors as a “betrayal” of people’s trust saying it said will spell a “death knell” for local businessmen. If Swamy agrees with them, that would confirm the theories of the anti-Modi RSS lobby that is gaining ground in the government.
Over to you, Mr Swamy.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday extended support to his party MP Yogi Adityanath, who accused Mother Teresa of being part of a ‘conspiracy to Christianise India’, saying the views are not isolated, as there have been books published in this regard.”You see the issue of Yogi Adityanath expressing his view is not an isolated view. It is a view which has been reduced to books, there is a writer Christopher Hitchens, who has written a best seller book and if you go to Google you would get a lots of books about her,” Swamy told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing an example, Swamy said once a prominent crook, who robbed the pensions of middle class people in California was caught and a trial was taking place and Mother Teresa wrote a letter asking not to prosecute him, as he has given her millions of dollars to further the cause of Christianity in India.”The judge responded that he was surprised that Mother Teresa was coming on his behalf, as he has robbed the pension of hard working people and in the name of Jesus Christ, asked him to return the money, so that relief can be given to the people,” he said. “That is how she was given a rebuke. Why would a religious leader write of a criminal?” he asked.Yogi Adityanath, had earlier accused Mother Teresa of being part of a ‘conspiracy to Christianise India’.According to reports the BJP MP while speaking at a religious meeting in Basti accused Mother Teresa of being a part of a conspiracy to convert Hindus to Christianity.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Monday mounted a sharp attack on Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, accusing him of seeking “guidance” of Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Political Secretary Ahmed Patel. He made the attack on Jung while joining a protest by BJP MP Maheish Girri, who demanded an apology from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for linking him to the murder of an NDMC official.Separately, Swamy, in a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, said he has information to suggest that the Jung was playing a “mischievous role” in “abetting” Kejriwal at the behest of Congress to embarrass BJP.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He (Jung) has no work other than making rounds of Ahmed Patel’s place. He (Jung) should have spoken out for MPs like Girri and he should have ordered Kejriwal to provide documents or apologise,” Swamy told reporters.He also said Jung should have categorically told Kejriwal that if he does not substantiate his allegations against Girri or apologise, then he would recommend to the Centre dismissal of the AAP government.The BJP MP said he would go after Kejriwal like the way he took on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. “I was after Rajan in the recent past. He has left now. Girri is a religious person who has dedicated his life to public service…You are the CM, give written complaint. And what this LG is doing.”In his letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, Swamy said, “I request you to intervene, particularly since I have information to suggest that the LG is playing a mischievous role in abetting Kejriwal at the behest of the Congress party to embarrass the BJP and, at the same time, appearing to oppose Kejriwal in public for sake of credibility.”Swamy said Delhi government should be dismissed if Kejriwal refuses to apologise to the party MP over his allegations. He also accused Kejriwal of breaching constitutional norms in running the Delhi government and sought the President’s intervention, saying there appears to be a complete breakdown of governance.Swamy requested the President to ask the Union Home Ministry to issue a directive as per provision of the Constitution and seek a report asking on what basis Kejriwal and his colleagues have made allegations of murder against Girri.”There appears to be a complete breakdown of any semblance of governance in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The AAP is functioning in a highly arbitrary, unreasonable and malafide manner. Since the NCT is where the Union Government is also located, it has become crucial to restore some semblance of governance immediately,” said Swamy in the letter.Girri has been holding a protest outside Kejriwal’s residence in Civil Lines demanding proof of his allegations. Swamy had joined Girri briefly in the protest.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Monday accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of breaching constitutional norms in running the Delhi government and sought the President’s intervention, saying there appears to be a complete breakdown of governance.In a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, Swamy specifically referred to Kejriwal’s allegations that BJP’s East Delhi MP Maheish Girri is linked to murder of an NDMC official, terming the charges as “scurrilous and undocumented”. Targeting Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, Swamy claimed he has information to suggest that the LG was playing a “mischievous role” of “abetting” Kejriwal at the behest of Congress to embarrass BJP while appearing to oppose the AAP leader in public.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He requested the President to ask the Union Home Ministry to issue a directive as per provision of the Constitution and seek a report asking on what basis Kejriwal and his colleagues have made allegations of murder against Girri. “There appears to be a complete breakdown of any semblance of governance in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The AAP is functioning in a highly arbitrary, unreasonable and mala fide manner.”Since the NCT is where the Union Government is also located, it has become crucial to restore some semblance of governance immediately,” said Swamy in the letter.Referring to Kejriwal’s allegations against Girri, he said the Chief Minister, like the style of functioning of 14th century Sultan of Delhi Mohammed Bin Tughlak, has turned “upside down” all known principles of democratic jurisprudence as a person is presumed innocent till proven guilty. Girri is holding a protest outside Kejriwal’s residence in Civil Lines demanding proof of his allegations. Swamy had joined Girri briefly in his agitation.
Indian central bank governor Raghuram Rajan’s abrupt decision to quit came as he increasingly felt he lacked support from his political bosses Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to friends and colleagues. A newspaper report a week ago that a selection panel would consider a field of candidates rather than directly offer the former IMF chief economist an extension to his three-year term, effectively forcing him to reapply for his own job, may have been the final straw, according to these people and a finance ministry source.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He felt it would belittle the position of the RBI governor if he had to appear before the committee,” said one senior commercial banker who knows Rajan personally but had not spoken to him since his decision.”It would reveal a lack of government support. Rather than have two more years of constant quibbling, he decided to go.”The darling of international investors was also upset that Jaitley had not backed him more strongly after criticism from Hindu nationalists of both his policies and his perceived lack of “Indian-ness”, the sources said.Rajan joked when he took over the top job at the Reserve Bank of India in September 2013 that he wasn’t expecting to win any votes or Facebook ‘likes’ in the position.But the hostility he had faced of late from elements of Modi’s ruling party was evidently greater than he had counted on, the sources said.When Rajan decided to leave, he did so without warning and on his own terms: in a sign of growing tensions he did not inform top members of the government before releasing an open letter to staff on Saturday, a move that took investors and the government by surprise.NO CONTACTIn his letter, Rajan said he had been open to seeing through changes he championed such as the creation of a monetary policy committee to set interest rates and a clean-up of the banking sector.But he added: “On due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as governor ends on Sept. 4, 2016.”Rajan was not available for comment but will face questions on the motives for his abrupt withdrawal at a speaking engagement on Monday afternoon in Mumbai. Less than two weeks ago, he laughed off speculation about his future after an RBI policy meeting, saying: “You will know when there is news.”Five sources familiar with the matter said Rajan had not contacted Modi’s office directly. Nor was a meeting or discussion between the two planned, said one senior official. Modi has not commented, tweeting instead on Sunday about the forthcoming World Yoga Day. Jaitley had been in his office on Saturday and gave no indication of concern about Rajan’s future, leaving for home before the news broke, an aide said.The finance minister tweeted after a delay of more than two hours that he respected Rajan’s decision.It was unclear whether Rajan had briefed senior staff at the Reserve Bank of India since his bombshell decision.”I am surprised,” said one person who has worked with Rajan and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “A week back he was sounding very much interested in serving a second term.”SAFFRON POSSERajan had for weeks faced intense pressure from Subramanian Swamy, a politician in Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who, say sources familiar with the matter, was acting with the backing of the Hindu-nationalist umbrella group to which the BJP is affiliated, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).Swamy, a 76-year-old former Harvard economist with a record of aggressive anti-corruption litigation, wrote an open letter to Modi a month ago accusing Rajan of being “mentally not fully Indian” and calling on the prime minister to “terminate” him with immediate effect. The broadside from Swamy came soon after he was handed a seat in India’s upper house of parliament by the ruling party, creating the impression that he was acting on good authority.Challenged to respond to Swamy, Jaitley merely said that Rajan’s candidacy should not be discussed publicly. “As a colleague I could see he looked hurt,” said one senior policymaker who works with Rajan. “You can question my efficiency, but if you question my loyalty to my job, then one would expect your employer to stand up and defend – and not stay silent.” Yet it was Rajan’s own forays into politically sensitive territory that led the Hindu right to target him – in particular over a speech last October to students in Delhi in which he said that social tolerance was vital for a country’s development.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan making it clear that he does not want a second term. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows everything. He has no need for experts like Raghuram Rajan,” said Gandhi in a tweet. In another tweet, he thanked Rajan for his role in steering the country’s economy in “difficult times”. “Thank you Dr Rajan for steering the economy in difficult times. People like you make India great,” another post on his twitter handle @OfficeOfRG said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said no to a second term, in a surprise announcement putting at rest all speculation over his continuance. “On due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016,” Rajan said in a message to the RBI staff.Congress today accused the Narendra Modi government of “hounding out” RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and said he has done what any “self-respecting” person would do even as BJP declined to join issue, claiming it does not offer comments on independent regulators.BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, who ran a tirade against Rajan, took a jibe at the outgoing RBI Governor’s decision, saying whatever “fig leaf” he wants for hiding the reality, the people should not grudge it and tell him good bye. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said he was “disappointed and profoundly saddened” by Rajan’s decision against a second term, but was not surprised by the development. “I am disappointed and profoundly saddened by the decision of Raghuram Rajan to leave the RBI on completion of his term on September 4, 2016, but I hasten to add that I am not surprised at all.”As I had said sometime ago, this government did not deserve Rajan. Nevertheless, India is the loser,” he said. He said the government had invited this development through a craftily-planned campaign of insinuations, baseless allegations and puerile attacks on a distinguished academic and economist. Rajan was appointed RBI Governor by the UPA government in 2013 when Chidambaram was finance minister.Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government had “hounded” a good man as it did not have the courage to ask him to leave. “The message that this fascist government is sending to regulators is that if you do not toe our line we will mount a campaign of calumny and wild insinuations and bludgeon you into submission. What Rajan has done is what any self- respecting man under such circumstances will do,” he said.Rajan had done a phenomenal work, he said. BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao declined to offer comments. “BJP generally do not offer political comments on any office of independent regulator or Constitutional positions,” he said.Swamy was, however, quick to take potshots at Rajan. “R3 has said he will go back to US. Whatever fig leaf he wants for hiding the reality we should not grudge it. Say good bye!,” he said in a tweet. Earlier, reacting to Rajan decision against a second term, he told reporters, “Raghuram Rajan is an employee of the Government of India. We don’t select employees on the basis of popular vote.” D Raja of CPI asked the government to explain if the charges Swamy levelled against Rajan were “genuine or justified”. “What about charges levelled by Swamy against Rajan. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister should explain if they agree with it or they let down Rajan.” Buffeted by political attacks coupled with unending speculation over his continuance, Rajan today said no to a second term in the post, a surprise decision the industry and opposition parties termed as nation’s loss.”… on due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016,” Rajan said in a message to the RBI staff.
The campaign mounted against RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is extremely regrettable. There is no doubt that the targeted campaign against him has led to the governor’s decision to not continue his tenure.
I have been fortunate to work with three RBI governors — YV Reddy, Subba Rao and Raghuram Rajan. One of the things I felt as a banker is that India is extremely fortunate to have an institution like the RBI which has an independent stance vis-a-vis the government. There have often been reports in the media stating a tension between the Central government and the RBI. I think that it is a healthy tension. It is the role of the RBI to ensure stability of the monetary policy and keep inflation under control. The institution has carried out that role brilliantly over the years.
The way the present governor was attacked personally and professionally was extremely unseemly.
Rating Rajan as a governor
I have worked with three RBI governors and each of them have served the institution and the country well. However, Rajan has exceeded all excellent governors at the RBI. He is the best central bank governor for India. Look at his achievements: he has kept inflation under control, the rupee has stabilised and forex is at extremely high levels. I would have thought this government would have embraced a second term for the governor. The government’s much-talked about Make in India programme that aims to provide more jobs, create more entrepreneurs and inspire confidence in foreign investors can only take off for India if inflation is stabilised, macro economy is stabilised and foreign exchange is stabilised. All this can happen only if the banking system in the country is robust. This governor has laid bare NPAs and taken steps to make banks healthy again. No other country in the world has been able to do this.
It is unfortunate for the Indian economy if the RBI’s independence and integrity is hampered. Especially in the troubled times like today: Brexit next week, volatility in international oil prices, the two-year drought in many parts of the country and no sign of monsoons yet. All this can create a lot of uncertainty. The targeted campaign against the governor in these situations is completely unnecessary and unbelievable too.
Individuals and institutions equally important
Individuals do matter just as institutions. Rajan is recognised as a brilliant economist and has helped markets in India, inspired confidence in the economy and the country and also of investors abroad. If you want a programme like the Make in India or the slew of other programmes aimed at improving the economy and the people of India, then Rajan is the kind of governor you need to inspire that confidence in the people, the government and foreign investors. It is inexplicable how the government has treated the present governor. I don’t think Swamy would have independently gone against Rajan without the backing of the government. Jaitley’s statement on Rajan’s desire to go back to academics makes it clear that the government did not want to give him a second term. So, Swamy was definitely not acting on his own.
Government’s intervention in RBI
The government has been making systematic interference in the independence of the RBI. If you look at the case of deputy governor HR Khan’s extension, that was the prerogative of the governor but he was not consulted. It is not about the governor alone, it is about the government interfering with the integrity and competence of an institution like the RBI that is of grave concern.
Targeted campaign makes job for Rajan’s successor difficult
The dice has been cast. There will be a period of instability for sure. I remember what Subbarao told me when he was stepping down and I had gone to meet him. When he was appointed, there were much talk about how he was a government appointee as he was finance secretary before becoming the RBI governor. But he took a tough stance against the government during the financial crisis. I mentioned about that to him then. His reply was unforgettable. He said, “Meera, this is an institution with integrity, independence and professionalism.” I think that is what the RBI is about. The independence of the RBI is paramount from an economic and banking perspective. I believe the RBI is a strong institution and can withstand political pressure.
This is a country of extremely talented people and I am sure the government will find a person of capability and integrity to head the RBI. But will it get anyone with the international reputation and stature of Rajan is the question. The world will question why was an extremely competent and capable man as Rajan not given a second term and how will the government explain that, I wonder.
(Meera Sanyal is the former CEO and chairperson of Royal Bank of Scotland in India. She had interacted with Raghuram Rajan in that capacity.)
– As told to Sulekha Nair
Raghuram Rajan will not be either getting another term or will not be accepting another term as RBI Governor. India will have to get a new RBI Governor from 4 September, when Rajan will return to Chicago University to resume as a tenured professor in the University of Chicago’s vaunted economics department. India’s loss will be Chicago’s gain.
It will be difficult to replace him with another person of acumen, personality, experience, accomplishment and world stature. Most of our previous RBI Governors were mere flunkeys who let the nations banking and financial system drift towards the abyss. Rajan red flagged the NPA’s and the capital inadequacies of the PSU banks, and began moves to set things in order.
I can be sure that there would be much relief spreading through many of our corporate headquarters, most of all of many corporate chieftains who are in the Prime Minister’s Councils of Advisors on the Economy, Infrastructure etc.
I am also sure there will be much relief in the upper echelons of our state owned banks, where many actively took part in the malfeasances that left the banks deep in the red. Many of these people owe their positions to the crony capitalists who greased the palms of the powers that be to position their soon to be benefactors in positions of authority.
So there will be rejoicing among many in the upper echelons of the CII, FICCI and Assocham, and the 14 state-owned banks. Investments made and promises made will now be kept.
During my recent travels abroad addressing groups of economists and industry leaders interested in India, almost the first statement one heard was one hoping Rajan would stay.
We will no doubt get another RBI Governor, like we got a Pahlaj Nihalani at the Censor Board or Chetan Chauhan at NIFT and Ram Bahadur Rai at IGNCA. Maybe one who finds the approval of Subramanian Swamy and his mentor Chandra Swamy. While we are it, why not Dr Swamy as RBI Governor? He has the qualifications and the acumen required to do the job required.
This noise and dust kicked by the likes of Swamy and others only goes to prove that India is no place for good people. Its good for only the Swamy’s of the world.
As posted by Mohan Guruswamy on Facebook. Guruswamy heads the Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi.
So, that’s the end of all speculations, conspiracy theories and frenzy surrounding the extension of Raghuram Govinda Rajan, the God of Mint Street, at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In a letter to RBI staff on Saturday, Rajan has said he wouldn’t take up a second term at the RBI after his term comes to end in September.
“…on due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016. I will, of course, always be available to serve my country when needed,” Rajan said in the letter. “I am confident my successor will take us to new heights with your help. I will still be working with you for the next couple of months.”
Whether Rajan’s decision is the outcome of a political campaign targeting him in the last few months led by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy or purely on account of personal reasons (interest to return to academia) is a mystery that would perhaps never get solved. But the last laugh in the battle is clearly Swamy’s who had mounted an unprecedented attack any RBI governor has faced in history. Swamy has campaigned against Rajan with charges and accusations ranging from his “mentally not fully Indian” status to “wrecking” the economy with his monetary policies.
On the face of it, Rajan’s decision is unlikely to be the outcome of his academic ambitions alone; there is more to it. Just last month, in an interview to CNBC Awaaz channel, Rajan had said that “there is more to do” in the job, when the interviewer asked whether his work will remain unfinished if he isn’t granted a second term. “It’s a good question. I think we have accomplished a lot… I think that … I mean, there is always more to do.”
For Rajan who saw more opportunities in a well-recognized role, what has changed in one month? There are indeed reasons to believe that the Swamy saga has had its share in this. But, that’s of course debatable and forever inconclusive.
Swamy’s immediate reaction to Rajan letter confirms that there is a larger political design behind Rajan not continuing for a second term. “Raghuram Rajan is a Government employee and government employees are not selected on the basis of popular vote.”
Swamy is right. RBI governor’s term shouldn’t be decided based on popularity and looks, but on the merits of work and Rajan has an impeccable track record as the RBI governor on any parameter one looks at.
But for Swamy, perhaps the selection of a government employee should also be based on whether the government wants him or not. As Firstpost noted earlier, there are reasons to believe that Swamy’s Rajan Hatao campaign was a one man show.
Now that Rajan era is over. What next?
Clearly, the sky isn’t going to fall down. RBI policies and its larger reform plans for the financial sector isn’t a one-man show but an institutional effort. The government will find someone else to replace him and life will go on in RBI and outside as usual.
But the larger point is this. If Rajan’s successor fails to continue with the reform impetus he has offered to the financial sector, through a series of measures and high-risk calls (like putting a deadline for banks to clean-up bank balance sheets), it could take the sector and the economy few steps back. Rajan’s exit will likely cause short term impact in the rupee, bond and equity markets in the short term as panic reactions are due.
It wouldn’t be an easy task for the Narendra Modi government to find someone capable to fill Rajan’s shoes. Global investors wouldn’t take it in good humour if Rajan is replaced by a ‘Yes man’ to the government, who wouldn’t stand up to save the independence and credibility of RBI and take bold decisions. Looking at the Gajendra Chauhans and Chetan Chauhans of the world, investors will certainly be worried for now.
Rajan is leaving his job halfway. Many critical reforms he initiated are half done. The biggest of them is the bad loan clean up exercise. After Rajan put a deadline to banks to disclose all non-performing assets (NPAs) by March, 2017, banks have reported massive jump in the bad loans in the last two quarters.
This was a painful step for the banking industry since declaring NPAs in large chunks also meant huge amount of capital and erosion in investor confidence. Rajan also put an end to the practice of rampant restructuring of corporate loans. This irked crony capitalists who have been ever greening their loans for years silently building a bad loan bomb in the banking system. Continuing this exercise is a challenge for Rajan’s successor.
Similarly, when Rajan took over on 4 September, 2013, he laid out a broader roadmap to bring in structural reforms in the banking sector by permitting new set of small banks (payments banks, small finance banks), on-tap licencing of universal banks, besides pushing for early recognition of bad assets.
This exercise too is halfway.
Another exercise currently underway is reforming the monetary policy mechanism. Rajan, under the recommendations of Urjit Patel panel, was also instrumental in rewriting the monetary policy mechanism by binding the government to initiate a joint monetary policy committee which will set an inflation target to RBI and give a freehand to the central bank to achieve that target.
PM Modi’s silence on Swamy’s personal, and often baseless, attacks on the RBI governor has strengthened theories that there is a political angle to Rajan’s exit. Modi has remained largely silent on Rajan-Swamy controversy despite the fact that top rating agencies, economists, investors and industry persuading the PM to end the uncertainty in the investor community and announce a second term for Rajan.
It’s a victory for Swamy.
But once the party is over, the NDA-government will have a much bigger headache to find a worthy successor to Rajan.
With Prakash Javadekar being involved with a public spat with Union Women and Child Development Minister over the culling of wild animals, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday advised the Minister of State for Environment and Forests to call up Maneka Gandhi and come to a conclusion.”Maneka has a long record of being concerned about this issue and I think the proper thing to do is not to reply to her publicly but for Javadaker to pick up the phone and call her. I mean it is also true that she could have picked up the phone but by then he had already announced it,” Swamy told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think he should not respond to her publicly but pick up the phone and call, saying let’s have tea and discuss this and come to a conclusion,” he added.
ALSO READ MoEF declares monkeys as vermin in Himachal, Maneka Gandhi slams decisionGandhi had yesterday trained guns at Javadekar and said the latter’s ministry is frivolously granting permission to kill innocent animals.On the reports of large number of deer being killed in Patna in Bihar, Gandhi told ANI that she does not understand this ‘lust’ to kill.
ALSO READ Maneka Gandhi v/s Prakash Javadekar: Opposition make merry as BJP ministers spar over ‘animal culling’ “The Environment Ministry here is writing to every state asking them which animal they want to kill and they will grant permission. In Bengal they gave permission to kill elephants, in Himachal they gave permission to kill monkeys, in Goa they gave permission to kill peacocks,” said Gandhi.”In Chandrapur where the condition is so adverse that they have already killed 53 wild boars and permission to kill 50 more has been given. Environment Ministries own wildlife department said that they don’t want to kill animals and should not be pressurised for the same. I don’t understand this lust for killing,” she added.Later on, Javadekar countered Maneka’s charges and asserted that such decisions were taken keeping scientific facts in mind to help those affected by such animals.”I will not react on who said what. But as per the law, we must help the farmers whose crops get ruined. The state government sends us a proposal and only then we initiate a step for a specific region and for a specific period of time keeping the scientific facts in mind,” he told the media here.Defending the Centre, Javadekar stated that taking such a decision was not the Centre’s prerogative, adding the Environment Ministry acted as per the law.