Jairam Ramesh demands Urjit Patel’s resignation, Arun Jaitley comes to RBI Governor’s defence

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday came to the defence of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel in the wake of criticism by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, saying it is an “unfair attack” and politicians should refrain from making comments on those who cannot defend themselves.

“An unfair attack by Jairam Ramesh on the RBI Governor. Must politicians attack those who can’t defend themselves in the same tone?” he said in a tweet.

In an article written in National Herald, Congress spokesperson Ramesh alleged that RBI was kept in the dark by the government about its surprise demonetisation move.

“Urjit Patel is either guilty of misleading the nation about RBI’s preparedness on demonetisation or has sacrificed the autonomy of RBI. Either way, he should resign,” Ramesh had said.

“RBI is the monetary authority of India and is solely responsible for making bank notes available to all residents of India. If RBI headed by Patel gave its approval to the Prime Minister’s demonetisation plan, then ostensibly RBI was confident of making currency notes available easily.”

He complained that there are not enough notes in the system and this shortage can continue for at least a few more weeks, if not months.

Questioning the RBI Governor’s “stoic silence” through the entire currency crisis of the last two weeks, Ramesh said the central bank is independent and autonomous and needs to clarify on the current situation.

“How can the head of RBI that is solely responsible for the current currency crisis not be seen clarifying and assuring the nation amid this grave crisis?” he questioned.

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