New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy, in the news for his persistent attacks on several high-ups in the government and the bureaucracy, has apparently been cut to size by the party leadership.
The party first cancelled two functions where Swamy was to speak at the last minute and then came the heavy lashing from PM Narendra Modi himself.
Modi said that Swamy's comments on RBI governor and his veiled attacks on finance minister Arun Jaitley were inappropriate.
“Whether it is in my party or not, still I think such things are inappropriate. This fondness for publicity is never going to do any good to the nation. People should conduct themselves with utmost responsibility. If anybody considers himself above the system, it is wrong,” the Prime Minister told a private TV channel in an interview.
Without taking the name of Swamy, Modi was asked about the comments of “your Rajya Sabha MP” in the context of Raghuram Rajan and queried whether it was appropriate.
BJP members hope the PM's message that "any one who thinks he is bigger than the system is wrong" will put a check on Swamy's daily attacks on the government, including Finance minister Arun Jaitley.
"The entire debate on Raghuram Rajan, people who speak out of turn and the party's campaign in UP is over, since Prime Minister's is the last word," party secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said after Modi's interview.
In absence of clear indication from the top leadership, BJP leaders, so far, only distanced themselves from the comments Swamy made, without issuing any strong warning to him.
After launching a tirade against RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, following which he refused to seek another term, Swamy trained his guns at Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian. Arun Jaitley came in defence of Arvind and asked Swamy to refrain from criticising his CEA.
After FM’s statement, Swamy hit out Jaitley without explicitly naming him saying, “People giving me (unsolicited) advice of discipline and restraint don't realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath.”
The remarks reportedly did not go down well with the BJP. The criticism of the chief economic advisor was perceived as an indirect criticism of Finance Minister Jaitley.
In another statement seen to be aimed at Jaitley, Swamy said, “BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters.”
This was after photographs of Jaitley meeting Bank of China chairman Tian Guoli wearing a lounge suit appeared in newspapers.