When RBI governor Raghuram Rajan announced that he would not be seeking a second term and would return to his academic career, his supporters pointed to BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy for successfully scuttling yet another high-flying career. For weeks, Swamy had been gunning for Raghuram Rajan, describing him as "mentally not fully Indian" and accusing him of harming the economy by disclosing confidential financial information around the world.
|After Rajan, Swamy announces ‘project’ to expose bureaucrats loyal to Sonia Gandhi|
By the time Swamy began his campaign, the swords had already been drawn in NDA circles, but it was the new MP who played the role of the battering ram by writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the RBI governor's removal. Well, Swamy has had the last laugh again. Subramanian Swamy is known for triggering storms with alarming claims. Despite being a lone wolf for most of his career in politics, his influence on Indian politics has always been huge. Here are five turns in India's political narratives in which Swamy's role was critical.
The 2G Scam
After learning that the FIR filed by CBI in the high-profile 2G scam did not mention any names and the investigation was about to be halted, Swamy wrote a series of letters to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for his explanation of the role played by his cabinet colleague A. Raja. But there was no action by the PM, so Swamy went to the Supreme Court and the CBI was pressurised to resume the investigation against Raja. The rest if history: Raja was arrested, and the taint of corruption stuck to the UPA 2 regime, and cost the Congress the next general election in 2014.
The National Herald case
In 2012, Swamy filed a case in a Delhi court against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, accusing them of 'criminal misappropriation'. According to the complaint, the Indian National Congress granted an interest-free loan to AJL, the parent company of National Herald, which was supposedly repaid in cash, violating section 269T of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The case is still on and Swamy recently said he would present a list of witnesses in the case on July 16. The case hangs like a cloud on Sonia and Rahul's political future.
Of course, Swamy's staggering appearance in Parliament during the Emergency is the stuff of legend. After several opposition leaders had been arrested by the Indira Gandhi regime, Swamy made a sunning appearance in Parliament and then managed to escape when the session was adjourned.
Phone tapping by Karnataka CM
In 1988, the then Karnataka chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde resigned after Swamy alleged him of tapping the phones of many prominent politicians and businessmen in the state.
Kailash-Manasarovar route to Tibet
Not everything Swamy has done has been to bring down a Goliath. He's done some positive things too. He managed to convince Deng Xiaoping, the all-powerful leader of China, to open the Kailash-Manasarovar route in Tibet to enable Hindu pilgrims to trek to the holy place. He became the first Indian after 25 years to be permitted by China to enter the holy spot. The annual pilgrimage continues to this day, almost entirely because of Swamy's path-breaking intervention.