Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan’s relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre was a factor behind his decision to step down in September, most of the respondents who took part in a Twitter poll conducted by HT said.
After the “rock star” banker announced on Saturday that he won’t seek a second term when his current tenure expires on September 4, HT asked its readers: “Do you think RBI chief Raghuram Rajan’s relationship with govt was a factor in his decision to step down in Sept?”
Of the 2,167 people who voted on the Twitter poll till 4:30pm on Sunday, 68% believed the governor’s relationship with the government played a role in his decision. In contrast, only 23% said “No” and 9% opted for the “Don’t know/Can’t say”.
The Union government almost immediately came under attack after the RBI made Rajan’s letter public on its website and Twitter, citing the “significance of the matter”.
“This fascist government is sending message to regulators that if you do not toe our line we will mount a campaign of calumny and wild insinuations and bludgeon you into submission,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, accusing the BJP of “hounding out” Rajan.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram said he was “disappointed and profoundly saddened” to hear the news but maintained that he was not surprised. “As I had said some time ago, this government did not deserve Rajan. Nevertheless, India is the loser.”
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had been attacking Rajan for some time now, quickly tweeted, “R3 (Rajan) has said he will go back to the US. Whatever fig leaf he wants for hiding the reality, we should not grudge it. Say goodbye!”
Rajan had joined the Indian government as chief economic adviser to the ministry of finance and prepared the economic survey for India for the year 2012-13 before heading the RBI. At the helm, Rajan was known to be a reformist and largely loved by the industry and market participants for his consistent and transparent communication.
He is also credited for having tamed inflation and stabilising the currency.