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Patel’s resignation ‘severe blow’ to nation’s economy: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh termed RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s resignation as “very unfortunate” and said it was a “severe blow” to the country’s economy.

Patel, who had a run in with the government over autonomy of the central bank, resigned from his job earlier on Monday, citing personal reasons.

His resignation came four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government.

 

In a statement, Singh said he hoped that the RBI Governor’s sudden resignation is not a harbinger of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s attempts to “destroy” the institutional foundations of India’s USD 3 trillion economy.

He said it will be “foolhardy” to diminish institutions for short-term political gains.

“It is with great sadness that I received the news of the resignation of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Urjit Patel,” Singh said.

“Patel’s sudden resignation, at a time when the Indian economy is faced with many headwinds, is very unfortunate and is a severe blow to the nation’s economy,” he said.

The former prime minister added that he has known Patel to be an economist of high repute and also someone who cared deeply about India’s financial institutions and economic policy.

“Building institutions take a long time and effort but they can be destroyed in a whimper. It is institutions such as the RBI, among many others, that have served as the edifice of our great nation’s progress since independence. It will be foolhardy to diminish these institutions for short-term political gains,” Singh said.

He recalled RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya’s apprehensions about the government’s intent to raid the capital reserves of the RBI for fiscal purposes.

“I hope the resignation of the Governor is not a sign that this may soon become a reality,” he said.

“I also sincerely hope that this sudden resignation of the Governor is not a harbinger of the Modi government’s attempts to destroy the institutional foundations of India’s USD3 trillion economy,” he added.

Patel, 55, who took over as the 24th Governor of the central bank on September 5, 2016, had the shortest tenure since 1992.

His three-year term was to end in September 2019 and he was eligible for a second term, like most of his predecessors.

The government seems to have accepted his resignation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying Patel will be missed “immensely”.

No announcement of Patel’s replacement has been made yet.


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National

A big country needs a strong leader like me to rule it: Modi

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Solapur: Attacking Congress and Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he is being targeted because he is from backward community.

“The Congress and its allies say that all Modis in the society are thieves. The Congress and its allies have not kept any shortcomings in abusing of my backward caste. This time they have crossed the limits and abused the entire backward society,” Modi said.

“I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don’t know how many more such Modis will come out,” Gandhi had said recently.

 

PM Modi said that he was used to such bashing. “Now, they are blaming the entire community while defaming me. If you dare to defame a community, I will not tolerate it,” he said.

He asked why label the entrie backward community thieves by calling him one.

Addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Madha, Modi slammed the “dynastic politics” of Sharad Pawar and claimed the NCP chief had “fled” the poll arena from Madha Lok Sabha constituency as he sensed defeat.

Modi said to run such a big country, we need a strong leader.

Slamming Gandhi, Modi said, “The ‘naamdar’ (dynast) first tried ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (slogan). Now they are trying to defame a backward community (Modi community). Being from a backward community, I am used to the suffering.”

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PM Modi most anti-national, dividing nation: Rahul

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New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being the “most anti-national” and accused him of “dividing the nation”.

Reacting to Modi’s allegation of the Congress turning anti-national, Gandhi said his grand old party has an exceptional track record of fighting forces that attack the nation.

“Thousands of Congress workers have laid down their lives, fighting such forces. Today the most anti-national act is the act of Modi who is dividing the nation,” said Gandhi as he kicked off his day-long campaign here in Kerala.

 

“Crippling the agricultural system, leading to farmers suicide is another anti-national act of Modi. Youths loosing their jobs is also another anti-national act. Modi has failed in all these and it’s time that he answers,” he told the media at a presser here.

Gandhi said the three key issues ruling the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are destruction of the Indian economy, personal corruption of Modi and the plight of the farmers.

“We are looking forward to forming the next government,” said Gandhi as he was about to leave, when a few questions were hurled at him.

The Congress leader, taking them returned to his seat sporting a smile, and said: “How come the Prime Minister does not have the guts to face the Kerala, Odisha or the Delhi media?”

From Kannur, Gandhi will make a whirlwind visit to five assembly constituencies in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, from where he is contesting the polls.

He is also fighting from his traditional Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

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Country will see Priyanka the way it views ‘chor ki biwi’: Uma

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Durg: Union Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday courted controversy by saying the country will see Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the way it views a “thief’s wife”, while claiming that the Congress general secretary will have no impact on the outcome of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.

To a question on whether Priyanka Gandhi will contest the general elections from Varanasi, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election, Bharti said, “It is a democracy, anybody can fight election from anywhere”.

When asked to comment on the impact the Congress leader could have on the poll outcome, the firebrand BJP leader told reporters in Chhattisgarh’s Durg, “Nothing. Why will she have an impact… Whose husband is facing theft charges. She will be seen the way India sees a thief’s wife.” Bharti also targeted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying by choosing to contest elections from Amethi and Wayanad, he has accepted defeat. He is the national president of his party and can fight as many elections as he wants, the BJP leader said.

 

She also slammed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his derogatory remarks against BJP leader Jaya Prada and sought that he be barred from contesting the election.

Bharti said the EC’s decision to award equal punishment to Khan and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was an “injustice” to the latter. He (Adityanath) took the name of God and did not insult any woman, she said, adding Khan should be slapped with all provisions of IPC related to insulting women.

The Election Commission on Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on Adityanath for 72 hours for his “provocative” communal remarks, which it said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”. A three-day campaign ban has also been imposed on Khan for his alleged “khaki underwear” jibe against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, who is his rival BJP candidate in Rampur Lok Sabha seat. The all-India ban came into force from 6 am Tuesday.

Bharti on Tuesday campaigned for BJP’s candidate in Durg Lok Sabha constituency which goes to polls in the third phase on April 23.

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