In a no-holds-barred assault, the Shiv Sena on Saturday termed the appointment of new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das as "dangerous" with a potential to unleash 'financial terror' in the country.
"The (BJP) government does not like people who speak the truth, but wants only those who 'nod their head in agreement'. If this is the intention behind Das' appointment, it signals the beginning of a 'financial terror' regime," warned the Sena, an ally of the ruling BJP in the centre and in Maharashtra.
Questioning Shaktikanta Das' credentials for the crucial post, the Sena said while the two previous RBI governors - Raghuram Rajan and Urjit Patel - were world-renowned economists, the current incumbent is only a graduate with no "known" knowledge of economics, and is an IAS officer (bureaucrat) with specialisation in history.
"He is known to applaud all good and bad policies of the Narendra Modi government. In fact, he had blindly supported the devastating demonetisation drive (November 2016), and remained unaffected by the peoples' miseries then. When doubts were raised on the new pink-coloured Rs 2,000 currency notes, he made a laughable statement that those notes which bleed are genuine," the Sena said in hard-hitting edits in the party mouthpieces, 'Saamana' and 'Dopahar Ka Saamana.'
It pointed out that the post of governor of the country's top bank is "akin to sitting on a throne of nails and wearing a crown of thorns", and hence Mr Das' top priority is to "safeguard the independence" of RBI besides convincing global investors of the same.
"(Raghuram) Rajan had strongly opposed the demonetisation move and quit. (Urjit) Patel sacrificed his post to protect the RBI's independence and even prevented the government from raiding its reserves. The current economic chaos witnessed in the country is directly because of flawed policies like note ban and GST implementation, resulting in high inflation and falling Rupee value," said the Sena.
Though it was within the ambit of the RBI to arrest all these ills, it did not happen in the past four years, as there was massive interference in the apex bank's affairs.
It was only when these hindrances became unbearable that Mr Rajan and Mr Patel left, while a "tolerant" person like Mr Das has been anointed as RBI Governor, the Sena pointed out.
Citing an example, the Sena said that the RBI has imposed severe lending restrictions on 11 banks, but the government feels if these are eased then these banks could thrive again.
Opposing the government's view, the RBI's stance is that industrialists and big borrowers failed to repay their debts and fled the country - actions which hit the economy badly and will continue to do so.
BJP lawmaker Subramanian Swamy made serious written allegations against Mr Das in the past, but despite that, he has been catapulted to the top post as RBI Governor, the Sena rued.
"Das enjoys good relations with politicians, but his appointment as RBI head should not lead to any manipulation of the economy and end up as a 'joke'... Here, he faces crucial questions like inflation and fiscal management. As the RBI Governor, will he be able to rein in the political elements who created the problems in the first place?" the Sena asked in the concluding part of the edits.