Online petitions seek a second term for Rajan

  • Mahua Venkatesh
  • Updated: May 25, 2016 08:35 IST

NEW DELHI: The government has not yet asked Raghuram Rajan to don the hat of the RBI governor for the second time, but the chorus is growing in favour of his reappointment.

After a strong show of support from corporate India, a number of online petitions have come up in favour of Rajan’s re-appointment.

The petitions, filed on— a portal that helps citizens voice their opinions — have already garnered 37,107 votes within a few days.

“Rajan has done a great job and India needs him to become a super power,” according to one the petitions.

Appointed governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2013, Rajan’s tenure expires in September this year.

“He has been doing a great job by balancing and maneuvering the Indian economy through the populism which endangers it. His past records and laurels are well known to Indians everywhere, and his international recognition is elaborate enough in public domain,” said another petition filed by Bengaluru-based Rajesh Palaria.

A petition initiated just a few hours ago favouring a change of guard at the top, had just eight supporters.

“I think he has done a good job. He is a very capable person, well respected... I think if his term is extended, it’s a good thing for India,” Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej had said last week.

The voices in the government are, however, not that euphoric.

“Being the governor of the RBI, he holds a very crucial chair and responsibility… certain comments from him have dent the image of the country and can have far-reaching impact… it is not only about interest rate,” a senior government official who did not wish to be identified told HT.

A decision on this is, however, expected only in August.

Recently, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and made a case against giving Rajan a second term.

In the last three years, Rajan has positioned himself as an inflation warrior, besides being quite vocal about contentious issues.

In November last year, while addressing students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, Rajan said there was need “to improve the environment for ideas through tolerance and mutual respect... excessive political correctness stifles progress.” More recently, at a conference of the International Monetary Fund, he drew flak for comparing the Indian economy with a one-eyed king in the land of the blind.

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