After Rajan… Swamy targets CEA Arvind Subramanian

RSTV Bureau
FILE: New Delhi: File photo of Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian (Right) holding a press conference with Secretary (DEA), Shaktikanta Das (Centre), New Delhi.  Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: File photo of Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian (Right) holding a press conference with Secretary (DEA), Shaktikanta Das (Centre), New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

After targeting RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has now trained his guns on Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and demanded his sacking. 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.

Swamy had earlier opened front against Rajan alleging he is “unfit for the job and is mentally not fully Indian”. The RBI governor had last week announced that he would return to academics after his current tenure as RBI Governor ends on September 4.

And on Wednesday, Swamy took to the micro-blogging site Twitter demanding Arvind Subramanian’s removal.

“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.

“Guess who encouraged Congi to become rigid on GST clauses? Jaitley’s economic adviser Arvind Subramanian of Washington DC,” Swamy tweeted further, saying he is “helping Jaitely to recognise the enemies in our camp”.

Like his diatribe against Raghuram Rajan, Swamy raised the issue about Arvind Subramanian’s NRI status. In a series of tweets attacking the chief economic adviser, he said, “Was AS (Arvind Subramanian) deposing before US Cong Committee against India as a US citizen or Indian? Does any PT know?”

File Photo of PM Narendra Modi speaking to RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan during  80th anniversary of RBI in Mumbai.

File Photo of PM Narendra Modi speaking to RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan during 80th anniversary of RBI in Mumbai.

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.

The development has now drawn reactions from the opposition parties. Senior Congress party leader Divijaya Singh said Swamy’s target is not Arvind Subramanian but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“Subramanian Swamy now guns for Arvind Subramanian Economic Advisor to NDA. Target is Arun Jaitley not Arvind Subramanian,” he wrote on Twitter.

Digvijay Singh further asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is handing over Finance Ministry to Swamy. “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.

The government, meanwhile, tried to downplay Subramanian Swamy’s offensive against the Chief Economic Advisor.

Government had taken a considered view when it appointed the former IMF economist as CEA, sources in the ministry said. The Finance Ministry knew of his stance on key issues like Intellectural Property Rights (IPR) before choosing him, they said adding the ministry was not giving credence to Swamy’s remarks on Subrmananian.

The BJP government had in October, 2014 appointed IIM-Ahmedabad allumnus Subramanian as CEA in the Finance Ministry.

(With inputs from the PTI)