NEW DELHI: BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s no-hold-barred attack on senior bureaucrats and indirect digs at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have not go down well with the party.
Party sources said there was a feeling within the organisation that Swamy’s unbridled criticism aimed at Finance Ministry officials amounted to the criticism of the government as these appointments were made by the Modi government.
Interestingly, Swamy, in series of tweets, took potshots at Jaitley on Friday.
“People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath,” he tweeted in an obvious attack on Jaitley, as the latter had defended bureaucrats in his ministry. Jaitley had also urged him to exercise restraint and discipline in the wake of his attacks on government’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
In another offensive tweet, Swamy said, “The BJP should direct our ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie, they look like waiters.”
Party sources indicated that the party was not in a hurry to act against Swamy and would adopt a wait-and-watch attitude for some time. A senior BJP leader sought to dispel the impression that Swamy, who is said to enjoy the support of the RSS, has the backing of the Sangh Parivar fountainhead claiming that it would not support such an open attack that harms the image of the government.
Sources said it was alright till he attacked Raghuram Rajan as the RBI governor too was vocal in his criticism of the government, but Swamy’s attack on the Finance Ministry was seen as infighting within the party.
However, some BJP leaders are of the view that Arvind Subramanian’s earlier articles questioning the BJP and Modi’s growth model were indefensible.
Swamy’s high-pitched battles against the Congress, particularly against the Gandhi family, had made him an asset in the saffron party’s arsenal. It is yet to be seen if he would tone down his criticism of the Finance Ministry in the coming days or continue with the his tirade.
Meanwhile, BJP ally Shiv Sena supported Swamy. “We have a feeling of attachment towards Swamy because he is famous for his stand on Hindutva and corruption. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi must be having nightmares of him. 2G spectrum and National Herald scams came to light because of his initiative, and, at that time the BJP used Swamy” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana. “Now if Swamy is speaking some truth in his own way, the BJP cannot disown his comments saying they are his personal opinions,” the party said.