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Not speaking on BJP's behalf, says Swamy after party disowns his remarks

Source: PTI
June 22, 2016 22:10 IST
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After the party and government distanced themselves from his attack on Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said he was not speaking on behalf of the party on the issue and continued his attack on him.

‘I have never said I speak on behalf of BJP on AS (Arvind Subramanian), but as a nationalist shocked that a GoI (Government of India) person would urge US Cong to fix India,’ Swamy tweeted.

The tweet came hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley debunked his call for sacking Subramanian for allegedly anti-India stand when he was International Monetary Fund economist in Washington prior to joining the Finance Ministry.

Subramanian was appointed CEA by the BJP government in October 2014.

To buttress his points about CEA taking anti-India stance, Swamy tweeted Subramanian’s article of 2013 titled ‘Is the Modi miracle overrated?’

He also tweeted a 2014 media report that said Subramanian as a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics had urged the US to initiate disputes against India before the WTO on drugs and pharma patents issue.

Swamy had earlier in the day caused a flutter in the government when he sought Subramanian’s sacking in a series of tweets over his alleged anti-India stance.

Jaitley had to spring to defence of the CEA saying the government had "full confidence" in Subramanian and value his advice. The BJP also had distanced itself from Swamy’s comments saying they were not party line but personal views.

Meanwhile, the Congress dubbed Swamy as the ‘undeclared spokesman’ of Modi.

Party spokesman P L Punia told reporters that the PM himself should speak out on the issue as Jaitley’s dismissing Swamy’s statement ‘mattered little’ as the BJP MP has also been targeting Jaitley.

“Since the issue involved a key official, the PM should himself clarify whether the charges leveled are false... Besides, the Prime Minister should specify the action being initiated against Swamy... The PM should act against either Swamy or the CEA as per the situation,” he said.

The Congress spokesman insisted that Modi’s clarification is a must given the perception that the issues being ‘pursued’ by Swamy have the ‘silent approval’ of the PM.

“Swamy acts like an undeclared spokesman of the PM. Whatever the PM wants to say against any official or opposition leader, he does it through Swamy,” Punia claimed.

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