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Urjit Patel resigns as RBI governor: Raghuram Rajan, Arun Jaitley, Narendra Modi, Congress and more weigh in

In a not-entirely-unexpected move, Urjit Patel resigned as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on Monday, citing personal reasons. His resignation has drawn a sharp reaction from politicians, economists as well as industry leaders.

Terming Patel's resignation a "statement of dissent", former governor Raghuram Rajan told Reuters that "all Indians should be concerned" with Patel's resignation. ET Now quoted Rajan as advising the government to "take extreme care in its relationship further with the RBI".

Congress, one of the first to react to Patel's resignation, tweeted: "Another one bites the dust" in an apparent reference to the Narendra Modi government's relationship with financial experts in the country. Meanwhile, Congress leader Ahmed Patel accused the Narendra Modi government of bringing "defacto financial emergency" in the country.

Speaking to ANI, Patel said: "The manner in which RBI governor has been forced to quit is a blot on India’s monetary and banking system. BJP government has unleashed a de facto financial emergency. The country’s reputation and credibility is now at stake."

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that Patel's resignation will have a negative impact on the Indian economy, the RBI and the government. "He (Patel) should at least stay till July, until the next goverment comes to power. The prime minister should call him and find out the reason and dissuade him from leaving in the larger public interest," Swamy said.

Former Union minister Arun Shourie said that Patel's departure is yet another signal that the "government has succeeded in crushing another institution".

Former finance minister P Chidambram said Patel was right to resign as the RBI governor, especially the way the Centre has treated the RBI. IN a series of tweets, Chidambram said, "Saddened, not surprised, by Dr Urjit Patel's resignation. No self respecting scholar or academic can work in this government. November 19 was the day of reckoning. Dr Patel should have resigned on that day. Dr Patel may have thought that government will re-trace its steps. I knew it would not. Good he quit before another humiliating meeting."

Patel, 54, quit the post about nine months before his three-year term was to come to an end in September 2019. He stepped down just ahead of the scheduled meeting of the RBI Board meeting on 14 December to consider proposals like RBI governance and providing liquidity for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

Patel, who was the Deputy Governor of the RBI before being elevated to the post of RBI Governor, had succeeded Raghuram Rajan after the latter’s term ended in September 2016.

There was a lot of speculation weeks back about Patel resigning after the differences between the RBI and the government became public, with RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya saying there was a need to ensure RBI’s independence.

The speech, delivered by Acharya, was said to have the backing of Patel.

Meanwhile, finance minister Arun Jaitley acknowledged the services rendered by Patel on Twitter and wished him many more years of public service. He tweeted:

The prime minister highlighted Patel's contribution in a tweet, saying, he "steered the banking system from chaos to order". He tweeted: "Dr Urjit Patel is an economist of a very high calibre with a deep and insightful understanding of macroeconomic issues. He steered the banking system from chaos to order and ensured discipline. Under his leadership, the RBI brought financial stability."

He also said:

According to ANI, RBI central board member S Gurumurthy expressed shock at Patel's resignation. "Surprised at news that RBI Governor resigned. Previous meeting was held in such cordial atmosphere that it comes as a shock. All directors said media had created a wrong perception while inside it was different. That makes it even more surprising," he said.

With inputs from ANI

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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2018 18:58:37 IST

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