Modi’s Ministers Know Nothing About Economics: Subramanian Swamy
BJP’s Subramanian Swamy speaks exclusively to The Quint on India’s economic status, 2019 general elections and more.
Camerapersons: Abhay Sharma & Abhishek Ranjan
Video Editor: Sunil Goswami
“Not even a single minister in the Union Cabinet understands economics,” believes senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy.
In an exclusive interview to The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia, in his special show Rajpath, Swamy spoke about a wide range of issues gripping the country and the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Taking a dig at his own party’s government, Swamy said:
There is not even a single minister in the Union Cabinet who understands anything about economics. Not everyone is capable of understanding the Arthashastra.Subramanian Swamy
However, he was quick to add that no party has leaders who understand the complexities of the economy.
In 2016, Swamy had written to PM Modi seeking immediate sacking of the then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, alleging he was “mentally not fully Indian” and has “wilfully” wrecked the economy. However, this was not the first time Swamy had launched an attack on Rajan.
Elaborating his conflict with the former RBI governor, Swamy said:
Raghuram Rajan increased the rate of interest, which led to substantial losses to small scale industries. It increased unemployment in the country. This was destroying the economy, but he could not understand this.Subramanian Swamy
Swamy further said that Indian banks are in a poor state with their reserves are drying up as deposits have hit an all time low.
“Should Do Away With Income Tax”
The BJP leader, who was the Minister of Commerce and Industry between 1990 and 1991, believes that the only solution to counter economic problems plaguing the country is to do away with income tax.
He said that India had the potential to overtake China, if we implement the right policies. However, taking another dig at the Modi government, Swamy said that he is confused about who the actual finance minister of the country is.
Either you are the finance minister or you are not. There is no such thing as interim finance minister. Some places mention Piyush Goyal as the finance minister, but Jaitley is the finance minister on the website. So is Jaitley a minister without a portfolio then?Subramanian Swamy
“Cannot Win Elections on the Basis of Economic Performance”
With 2019 just around the corner, Swamy had some advice for Prime Minister Modi.
Modi should understand that you can never win elections on the basis of economic performance alone. Narsimha Rao couldn’t, nor could Moraji Desai or Vajpayee.
Swamy said that PM Modi is someone who understands the country’s issues, but has chosen the “wrong” friends. However, Swamy hoped, he will soon move past them and will do better job in his next term.
Swamy’s 2019 Prediction
On being asked if the Opposition can change its game plan in 2019, Swamy said:
I know everything about the Opposition because I have worked with them. BJP will definitely come back to power in 2019. We will secure more seats than the last time. BJP will win nearly 300 seats.
For seventy years, there was a strategy to divide Hindus, said Swamy, adding that the BJP’s strategy in 2014 united Hindus across India.
On the BJP-PDP Split
“The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir should have been a Hindu,” said Swamy when asked about the bitter break-up between alliance partners in the Jammu and Kashmir government, the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on 19 June.
Swamy called the three-year-old alliance a “failed gamble” for the BJP and labelled Mehbooba Mufti an “incapable” chief minister.
It has always been the BJP’s belief that the party has a good number of MLAs. On the basis of this, it needs to work towards a majority in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
“I Am the Most Popular Leader After PM Modi”
Claiming that he is the most popular leader in the party after the prime minister, Swamy said that he “gets many things without even asking for it.”
I am still very popular in the villages because there people know that I always speak up for them without trying to gain anything.
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