BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy, who has taken credit for the imminent exit of Raghuram Rajan as chief of India’s central bank, today targeted Arvind Subramanian, the Chief Economic Adviser to the government.
“Sack him,” Mr Swamy said in a series of tweets. Government sources said the “utterances have no meaning.”
Top government sources, apparently disapproving of the comments, said: “This is an attempt to test the patience of the party.”
The tweets coincided with a report this morning that cited a Bloomberg News Survey to say that Arvind Subramanian was the top choice of economists to succeed Raghuram Rajan as central bank governor among the five candidates the government is said to be considering.
“He is also a green card holder and without thinking we had taken him into our party. Similarly, I have a list of 27 people in the party whom I will expose and work on it,” Mr Swamy told reporters.
The BJP’s newest Rajya Sabha member ran a vicious campaign against Raghuram Rajan, who announced last weekend that he would not seek a second stint as the governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after his term ended in September.
“I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016,” Dr Rajan said in a press release addressed to RBI staff. The same day, the government said Dr Rajan’s successor would be announced shortly.
Mr Swamy’s criticism of Dr Rajan had also focused on his Green Card. Besides accusing him of a “deliberate attempt to wreck the Indian economy”, he had commented that Dr Rajan is “mentally not fully Indian” since he continues to renew his Green Card.
Dr Rajan and Arvind Subramanian have worked together in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Among the names in circulation for the next RBI chief are Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, and former or serving deputy central bank governors – Rakesh Mohan, Subir Gokarn and Urjit Patel.