An online petition urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan a second term is going viral on internet. Now the petition needs a little over 4,000 more signatures to reach 50,000.
At the time of writing, the petition on Change.org had been supported by 45,594 people.
The petition was started by Rajesh Palaria. In the petition he makes a strong pitch for re-appointing Rajan to head RBI, saying, “He has been doing a great job by balancing and maneuvering Indian economy through the populism which endangers it. His past records and laurels are well known to Indians everywhere and his international recognition is elaborate enough in public domain.”
The petitioner has also said, “I was recently noticing how Shri Subramanian Swamy ji has been bullying and threatening him at large.”
Also being shared virally is the latest Amul butter ad, which says, “Let Raghuramain! Second helping please!
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) May 24, 2016
The surge of support for Rajan comes after the RBI Governor was repeatedly attacked by the ruling BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, who wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this month, recommending that he “consider terminating the appointment” Dr Rajan, whose term ends in September.
In his letter, Swamy alleged that the RBI Governor is “mentally not fully Indian,” since he continues to renew the Green Card issued to him by the US government.
Swamy also suggested that Rajan should “sent back to Chicago,” where he teaches at the Booth School of Business, and has accused him of “deliberately” attempting to wreck the Indian economy.
Swamy’s attacks have drawn criticism from several quarters not least the Congress, which appointed him to head the central bank during its tenure at the Centre. After Swamy’s letter many took it to social media and alleged that Swamy is not mentally fit.
Rajan took charge of the RBI in 2013 at a time when the US Federal Reserve had declared its intent to wind down its stimulus programme, the rupee plunged in value in respect of the US dollar on fears of a spiralling current account deficit. Through a series of measures, Rajan managed to stabilise the currency that also brought back investors.
British magazine Central Banking last year gave Rajan their Central Banker of the Year award for 2015.
In January, Rajan was awarded the Central Banker of the Year Award (Global and Asia Pacific) for 2016 by the Financial Times Group’s monthly publication ‘The Banker’.
The NDA government is aware of Rajan’s international standing and the comfort his presence gives to investors, but does not see his monetary policy as being accomodative enough.
Pointing to the very low interest rate policies of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England in a bid to stimulate their economies, Rajan has been warning that emerging markets are especially vulnerable to big shifts in capital flows triggered by the unprecedented monetary accommodation in rich countries.
According to the reports, the government has not yet decided on the post of RBI governor.