The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come under severe attack from its rivals over RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s decision to not seek another term.
Accusing the government of “hounding out” Rajan, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “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.”
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 sometime ago, this government did not deserve Rajan. Nevertheless, India is the loser,” he said.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Rajan;s decision to forego a second term.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows everything. He has no need for experts like Raghuram Rajan,” Gandhi tweeted.
He praised Rajan’s work and said people like him add to the country’s glory. “Thank you Dr. Rajan for steering the economy in difficult times. People like you make India great,” he posted.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had been attacking Rajan for some time now, quickly tweeted, “R3 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!”
Echoing sentiments similar to the Congress, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said, “It is a sad thing for India. Raghuram Rajan was too good for the NDA government. They didn’t deserve him. Due to his cautious approach, the inflation could be kept in check. He bolstered India’s image in financial circles abroad. His going out will be a big loss.”
BJD’s Lok Sabha floor leader Bhartruhari Mahtab admitted that Rajan enhanced India’s prestige in the financial world.
“I don’t know what the context was for his decision. I would have been happy had he got another term at this juncture. He enhanced prestige.”
Mahtab, however, refused to predict if India’s financial and economic prospects would suffer. “It is not about an individual. It is always about the institution. We don’t know who will succeed him,” he added.
Rajan is due to appear before the parliamentary panel on finance to discuss the high non-performing assets of the public sector banks.
“We had met him several times in finance committee meetings. We found him to be an ideal teacher who could explain many things at ease,” said Roy.