Days after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Viral Acharya raised concerns over the autonomy of the central bank, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
Sharing an opinion piece on Twitter, the Gandhi scion lauded RBI Governor Urjit Patel for “finally defending the RBI from Mr 56”, in an apparent dig at Prime Minister Modi. The Congress chief further said that India would not “allow” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to “capture our institutions”.
“Nice that Mr Patel is finally defending the #RBI from Mr 56. Better late then never. India will never allow the BJP/ RSS to capture our institutions,” Rahul Gandhi wrote on the microblogging site.
The attack by the Congress chief came on a day when the Reserve Bank employee association urged the government to not meddle with the autonomy of the central bank. According to news agency PTI, the employee said that “undermining the central bank is a recipe for disaster”.
"We firmly hold that undermining the central bank is a recipe for disaster and government must desist," All India Reserve Bank Association said in a letter.
Referring to Acharya’s remark during the AD Shroff memorial lecture last week, the employees' association said, "This is, however, not a sudden outburst, but was waiting to happen due to long simmering discontent."
Acharya had last week said that "the governments that did not respect their central banks' independence would sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets".
Giving a cricketing analogy, Acharya had said a government's horizon of decision-making was rendered short, like the duration of a T20 match, by several considerations.
"There are always upcoming elections of some sort - national, state, mid-term," he said, adding "as elections approach, delivering on proclaimed manifestos of the past acquires urgency; where manifestos cannot be delivered upon, populist alternatives need to be arranged with immediacy."