Swamy the Scalp Hunter: Next, Bureaucrats and Kejriwal
NEW DELHI: If someone is strutting about with the air of the victor it is BJP MP Subramanian Swamy. He is busy hunting for scalps.
He has claimed that of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan rightly or wrongly. To be followed, as he has boasted, with that of 27 bureaucrats who were loyal to the Congress party. And now, just a little while ago, of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sample the Swamy-isms: 1. “All his life he (Kejriwal) has done fraud. He says he was a meritorious student in IIT but I have records of how he got his admission...which I will reveal in a press conference. Till now I was Rajan ke peechhe (was going after Raghuram Rajan) and he is now gone.” This was at a hunger strike by BJP MP Maheish Girri who is sitting on hunger strike outside the Chief Minister’s residence to protest against the latters allegation that he had links with a man arrested for the murder of MM Khan, an estate officer.
Kejriwal had written to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung about this, demanding a full investigation. After the protest started he said that “killers” were being allowed to sit outside his door. Girri said, “"Question me if needed, arrest me if required." The Chief Minister remained unrelenting with a tweet this morning, “ "He shud be arrested n interrogated by Modi police in MM Khan murder case. Modi police shielding him."
2. Shortly after Rajan announced his decision to leave RBI at the end of his first term in September Swamy said in a tweet: “My next project is to expose 27 bureaucrats who are in various Ministries and loyal to TDK. They were handpicked and positioned by PC.” TDK is his own abbreviation for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and PC is a reference to former Minister PC Chidambaram.
In one stroke thus, he has unnerved the bureaucracy that is already feeling the pressure generated by the government with senior officials being taken to task by Ministers, or transferred out suddenly without even proper information. This could partially be one of the reasons why Indian envoy to UK Navtej Sarna left a book release function as soon as he saw industrialist Vijay Mallya, currently on the ‘wanted’ list of the present government. As a senior retired official said, “he probably wanted to get away lest he find himself in some unnecessary brouhaha over a greeting exchanged, or a photograph taken. You never know where it would land him.”
So Swamy’s announcement of going after the bureaucrats is clearly part of the overall strategy of keeping the officials, who are not trusted outside some select officers from Gujarat, on their toes.
Kejriwal, of course, has been making matters difficult for the BJP as well as for the Congress party. Apart from his direct tweets, that often hit the top brass hard, his party is currently on the ascendant in Punjab, and he has already announced his decision to contest the Goa elections. And more recently the Gujarat polls due next year. The Delhi Chief Minister has acquired a pro-common person image, that might not endear him to the elite, but is standing him in good stead currently in Punjab where AAP has been getting good traction.
Swamy had asked for the resignation of Rajan in May, and has taken the issue up a few times. As sources said, it is not that he can actually achieve anything, but he is now the barometer of the government top brass, and his ‘targets’ are clearly those on the wrong side of the government.
It might be recalled that Swamy has a long list. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee was on that list. So was and is Congress President Sonia Gandhi. And the entire family who he has threatened to “expose” time and again. As is Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who won the state elections yet again.