PM blames Swamy to manage crisis

In his interview, the PM called Dr Rajan a patriot in a rebuttal of Dr Swamy, but this has come late.

Perhaps the only real point of interest in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interview to a friendly English language television news channel last Monday is his “disapproval” of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s scarcely concealed attack on Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. Dr Swamy had earlier gone hell for leather — many thought at the behest of the rulers — demanding the ouster of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. The PM or the finance minister did not come to the governor’s defence, prompting Dr Rajan to draw the appropriate inference and announce that he was not available for a second term.

In his interview, the PM called Dr Rajan a patriot in a rebuttal of Dr Swamy, but this has come late. Dr Rajan is returning to his university in the US. Besides, someone of his stature is not in need of a certificate from political leaders. The PM’s intervention was not prompted by an urge to set the record straight on the Rajan matter but to protect his finance minister, who Dr Swamy was seeking to traduce in the guise of baying for the blood of the finance ministry’s top economic adviser as well as a senior bureaucrat.

Finding that neither the PM nor BJP chief Amit Shah had risen in his defence in the face of Dr Swamy’s full-force backhand, Mr Jaitley cut short his visit to Beijing, apparently as a sign of protest. Mr Modi keeping his own counsel even in the face of this may have caused a visible fissure at the highest level of government and the power structure. At a time when the home minister, the external affairs minister and the defence minister have had their political heft whittled, it would have been singularly bad advertisement for the government if the finance minister too had been sent to their corner.

Therefore, the PM can be said to have acted wisely, and in the interest of governmental stability. Any other course could possibly have led to the factionalising of the ruling hierarchy which could conceivably impact cohesion at the higher levels of the BJP. As for the rest of what the PM said in what seemed a commissioned interview, which lacked evidence of close questioning, there can’t be said to be too great a public interest, although the following inferences can be drawn: that not much relief should be expected on the jobs or prices front; that in spite of Mr Modi’s best efforts, ties with Pakistan are bad and we should be vigilant and expect anything from that side; that the area of disagreements with China has expanded; and that the government won’t rein in its communal diehards but the media is urged not to play up their infamy.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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