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Why Subramanian Swamy is set to lose in vicious campaign against CEA Arvind Subramanian

The government is in a fix after Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy trained his guns on the Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. 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.

Aseem Thapliyal        Last Updated: April 9, 2018  | 19:24 IST
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy

The government is in a fix after Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has trained his guns on the Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian .

In a series of tweets, Swami targeted Subramanian asking the government to sack him. 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, it seems has succeeded in his malicious campaign against RBI governor Raghuram Rajan after the central bank chief informed his staff about his decision to return to academia and not seek second term.

His term was to end on September 4.

On May 17, Swamy launched a campaign against Rajan, saying he was not 'mentally fully Indian' since he held a US green card and has wilfully wrecked the economy.

His concept of raising interest rates to contain inflation was disastrous, Swamy wrote in a letter to PM Narendra Modi asking Rajan to be removed with immediate effect.

On June 18, Governor Rajan said he won't seek second term at the central bank.

The ploy seems to have worked for Swamy, with several theories floating around the reason for his resignation.

However, this time, Swamy may not succeed in his campaign against Subramanian.

Here are the reasons why Subramanian is set to win against Swamy.

Appointment

While Raghuram Rajan was appointed by the UPA government on September 4, 2013, Subramanian took over as chief economic adviser on 16 October 2014 under the BJP government. Hence, Subramanian was handpicked by the BJP leadership for the key position.

Statements

Raghuram Rajan has given statements on Indian economy which caused discomfort in top ranks of the government. On April 16, 2016, Rajan in an interview to MarketWatch referred to India as one-eyed king in the land of blind.

The frank view did not go well with the BJP government with commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying better words should have been used to describe the Indian economy.

On the other hand, Subramanian has kept himself away from statements which may land him into trouble.

In fact, toeing the line of the government, Subramanian on June 17, 2015 criticised Raghuram Rajan for keeping real interest rates too high and making it difficult for the corporates to deal with the problem of high debt.

In another instance, the CEA disagreed with Governor Rajan's statement on January 25, 2016.

Rajan on January 24 sent out a stern message to defaulters hosting large birthday bashes despite owing large sums of money to the banks. Reacting to the statement, Subramanian suggested that it was not a matter of concern.

It is upon wealthy individuals to spend their wealth in the manner they want, Subramanian had said.

Govt support

Subramanian, unlike Rajan, has full backing of the government. Finance minister Arun Jaitley came out in open to support and shield Subramanian from Swamy's attack. In a press conference in New Delhi, Jaitley said government has full confidence in CEA Arvind Subramanian and does not share Swamy's views.

Minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha told India Today, "All of us in the finance ministry have extreme confidence in the professional capability of Arvind Subramanian and his service to the country."

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma too said BJP does not agree with Swamy's views on CEA Arvind Subramanian.

This time around, the government itself seems to have derailed the campaign started by its Rajya Sabha MP Swamy who has acted as a loose cannon for the BJP in the past. Swamy won't be having last laugh this time around.

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