The TV interview was meant to be a face saver in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failed bid to make India a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Among many other things prime minister Narendra Modi has said in the Times Now interview the most widely discussed could be his jibe against Subramanain Swamy.
Swamy who claims that he talks to prime minister directly got a snub Monday when Narendra Modi denounced him completely – be it his criticism against Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan or his attack against top finance ministry officials.
Prime minister’s disparaging statement in the interview comes in the wake of reports that finance minister Arun Jaitely had sought a meeting with Modi to lodge his protest over the way in which BJP reacted to the Swamy ‘s continuous attack on finance ministry.
“This fondness for publicity is never going to do any good to the nation. People should conduct themselves with utmost responsibility. If anybody considers himself above the system, it is wrong,” the prime minister said in the TV interview.
Swamy who had earlier said Rajan is not fully Indian and hence should not be given a second term as the chief of the apex bank was rebuffed by prime minster. “My experience with him has been good and I appreciate the work that he has done. He is no less patriotic. He loves India. Wherever he will work, he will work for India and he is patriotic.”
Following the frosty silence from the government, or the absence of any attempt to rein in Swamy, Rajan gave up.
He announced his plans to move to academics once his tenure ends in September. Tasting blood, Swamy next targeted Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramaniam and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das
Not content with taking on his aides, Swamy made a veiled attack on finance minister Jaitley.
He alleged that ministers in coat and suits resembled hotel waiters.
An incensed Jaitely took to Twitter to rebut Swamy’s charge.
But the responses of the BJP leaders were guarded, which gave rise to the feeling that Swamy might be getting tacit support from either prime minister or from the RSS.
Harvard educated Swamy’s displeasure towards Jaitely is well known. He had earlier advertised himself as fit candidate to head the finance ministry.
When he was made the Rajya Sabha member recently many had the doubts how will he function under Jaitely who is leader of the Rajya Sabha.
But BJP literally gave him a free hand to take on the Congress creating the impression that Swamy would continue to play bigger role in the party affairs.
Swamy many thought, was a pawn in the hands of some in the party and the government who are not happy with Jaitely.
His no holds barred attack against the Jaitley and his ministry and his aggressive posturing gave rise to speculations especially with the news of cabinet reshuffle in the air.
Would the loose cannon now go silent, now that Modi has red flagged him?
Or is Swamy’s battle and Modi’s red flag are all part of the BJP’s multi speak?