August 20, 2016 10:25:47 pm
Urjit Patel’s appointment as new RBI Governor appeared to have support of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who had launched a series of attacks against the outgoing Governor Raghuram Rajan. In a string of retweets and replies to his Twitter followers, Swamy said it will be utter “idiotic” to think he will attack Patel because he was born in Kenya.
Swamy, who has been extremely critical of Rajan’s policy of not lowering interest rate to check inflation, hoped that Patel will not be as “hawkish”. When one of his followers criticised Patel for being a Kenyan national, Swamy replied: “He is not a Kenyan citizen, but was. R3 was born Indian and chose to continue his US green card even though in India from 2007.”
R3 is the acronym he uses for referring to Raghuram Rajan whom he had on several occasions attacked for keeping interest rate high and hurting growth. When someone else said if Patel will be as hawkish as Rajan, Swamy replied: “Don’t be an idiot like presstitudes.”
His tweets led to his followers proclaiming that he was backing Patel’s appointment. Swamy even retweeted a follower’s comment: “Looks like @Swamy39 approves Urijit Patel’s appointment.”
When a Twitterati posted, “I am so dead sure that Swamy is not happy with this appointment”, the BJP MP shot back, saying “rubbish”. Swamy also retweeted a follower’s tweet that said: “Bye Raghuram Rajan. Pick another hobby. Thanks @Swamy39. Welcome @UrjitPatel_ #TransformingIndia #RBI #AchheDin.”
Swamy had earlier alleged Rajan is “not appropriate for the country” and alleged that he has “hiked interest rates in the garb of controlling inflation which has damaged the country”. Springing a surprise, Rajan in a letter to RBI staff in June announced that he would return to academia and not seek a second term.
After assuming charge as RBI governor in September 2013, Rajan had gradually raised the short-term lending rate from 7.25 per cent to 8 per cent and had retained the high rates throughout 2014. He kept the rates high, citing inflationary concerns despite intense pressure from the Finance Ministry and the industry for softening them with a view to boosting growth.The Governor started the process of lowering the rate in January 2015 and since then, it has come down by 1.50 per cent to 6.50 per cent.
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