Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy was speaking in New Delhi during India Today’s Mind Rocks summit today. He spoke on several issues.

On being asked about how he would have controlled inflation in a better way than Jaitley by Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Subramanian Swamy pointed out that he is an Economist while Arun Jaitley is a lawyer.

“Jaitley is just a lawyer, while I am an Economist. This can easily show who can prove to be better as Finance Minister,”-said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

Show’s host Rahul Kanwal said Swamy’s relation with Jaitley is like India’s relation with Pakistan. On this, the Rajya Sabha MP said there have always been arguments between southern and northern Brahmins.

The tussle between Dr. Swamy and Jaitley is several months old now. It started when Subramanian Swamy shared his opinion that Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das and Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian should be sacked.

They also ended up criticizing each other when Subramanian Swamy pointed out that there is enough evidence to grill Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi for investigation. On the other Jaitley claimed there is no strong evidence to connect Sonia Gandhi with AgustaWestland scam. There are no reasons to believe that Gandhi took money.

In fact, just last week, Subramanian Swamy wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and urged him to stop Finance Ministry’s grant of Rs 300-crore to a firm set up by the UPA for implementing GST. Swamy has claimed that the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) would be able to perform the same task at much lower price than the privately held unit formed by Congress. He has also highlighted the point that Finance Ministry has allotted funds without much of analysis.

What’s the difference?

Jaitley is known as the one and only leader from Lutyens’ Delhi in Modi cabinet, while Swamy is often referred as the one man army against corruption.

The point to be noted is that Arun Jaitley was OK until Kejriwal was thrashing Prime Minister Modi’s image, but Jaitley immediately approached the court when Delhi’s CM pointed finger at him. On the other hand, Swamy looks at BJP”™s problems as his own in most cases and is often found pro-actively debating on behalf of Modi Government.

Most of the readers do know about Jaitley’s political career, so let’s focus more on Dr. Swamy, as people often ignore his rich work experience from the past.

Jaitley and Swamy have worked as Law Minister, both have handled commerce portfolio and both are good lawyers. But, Dr. Swamy has worked as an elected MP for longer compared to Jaitley who lost his first election in spite of Modi wave.

Besides serving as a founding member of his Janta Party and a cabinet minister, Swamy has been a member of planning commission of India during Chandra Shekhar’s tenure as country’s Prime Minister. He was also a part of committee consisting group of eminent persons that prepared a report on Economic Co-operation between Developing countries for the UN in 1978.

Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao had appointed Dr. Swamy as the Chairman of the Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade. He also played a key role in developing a new export strategy that was part of country’s trade reform introduced during Rao’s term.

Former Janta Party Chief holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard and has served as a Professor in various national and international educational institutions.

Dr. Swamy was considered a vocal opposer of the RSS until 2001. His tussle with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is also well known. On the other hand, even Jaitley had once irked his party by saying that Hindu nationalism was an opportunistic issue for the BJP. He was party’s leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and had said this to an American Diplomat.

Swamy entered into everyone’s good books because of his war against corruption. He played a key role in exposing 2G scam, Herald Scam, EVM scam, and led the campaign against black money and so on. This is what brought him closer to the BJP. He merged his party with the BJP in 2013 and campaigned extensively for PM Modi. Today, he is considered Congress party’s enemy number one.

He has all the qualities necessary to be a Finance Minister. Perhaps, he can perform better than Jaitley, who mostly believes in replicating UPA’s policies as per many experts. The Union Finance Minister works as Modi Government’s legal head, as pointed out by party’s spokespersons on several occasions. Jaitley is also responsible for NDA Government’s several U-Turns, including the one on Aadhar scheme.

What’s the problem?

Prime Minister Modi made his choice clear during his interaction with Arnab Goswami. He even indirectly tagged Swamy as someone who is seeking publicity.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy is 77-years-old and PM Modi believes in appointing ministers who are 75 or less. He is independent, and perhaps, PMO would find it difficult to keep the Finance Ministry under control with Dr. Swamy in charge.

Finance Ministry is just like the heart of the government and managing the same is not child”™s play. The government would also have to consider how India Inc., overall economy and other stakeholders look at it. But, replacement may bring the necessary change and much needed innovative approach in the system and in the economy. This would ensure victory for the BJP in 2019.


Nitten Gokheley