Hyderabad: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday alleged that Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das was involved in corruption and termed his recent appointment to the top post a "surprise". Swamy, however, did not give any specific details about the "corruption", an allegation he had made in the past as well.
"The new governor of (RBI) is highly corrupt. I got him removed from the (Finance Ministry). I am calling Shaktikanta Das as a corrupt person. I am surprised that the man I got removed from the Finance Ministry for corruption was brought in as governor," Swamy said at an interactive session at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.
Later, when reporters asked Swamy who he thinks should head the RBI, the Rajya Sabha member named Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, professor R Vaidyanathan. "Professor R Vaidyanathan, former professor of finance (IIM-B), would have been much better. He is also (an) old Sangh man. He is our man," he said, adding that bringing S Gurumurthy on the RBI board was a mistake.
"He (Das) was removed from the Finance Ministry because he tried to interfere in my corruption case against (senior Congress leader) Chidambaram. He is Chidambaram's 'chela' (disciple). When he was in Chennai, he was involved in a lot of corruption," Swamy said.
Das, who spearheaded the post-demonetisation normalisation of the economy, was named the new RBI governor on December 11, a day after incumbent Urjit Patel quit the post.
On being asked about the 2019 general elections, Swamy asserted that the saffron party would come back to power as "there is no anti-incumbency" against the Narendra Modi government.
To a question on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Swamy alleged he held a British citizenship and cannot become a prime minister, a charge already rejected by the former. "by the way Rahul Gandhi cannot be a prime minister because he is a citizen of Britain and his Indian citizenship will be cancelled, he won't even be an MP," he claimed.
Swamy had in 2016 made the allegation and, after it was raised in the Parliament Ethics Committee, Gandhi, in his response in March that year, had rejected the charge, saying it was a move to malign him.
The BJP leader had alleged that Gandhi declared himself a British citizen to occupy the post of the director of a company there.
On the Ram temple issue, Swamy said, "There is a widespread desire, even in Tamil Nadu, that a Ram temple must be built (in Ayodhya). And we will build it..."
Swamy said he had given a proposal to the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha on the Ram temple. He added that he would the fight Ayodhya issue "as he has fundamental right to pray there".