Now, Swamy targets Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, needles Arun Jaitley further

NEW DELHI: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy seems to have found a new target in economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das, fueling his face-off with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Swamy took to twitter to allege that there was a property deal case pending against Das for assisting former finance minister P Chidambaram “swallow Mahabalipuram prime locations”.

Jaitley, who is in China to attend the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Board of governor’s meeting, countered Swamy by tweeting: “an unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant in the finance ministry”. This is the second day in a row that the finance minister has rebutted the views of the Rajya Sabha MP, who on Wednesday had castigated chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian. Interestingly, both Subramanian and Das are understood to be in the race for the post of RBI governor.

Swamy, however, was unfazed by Jaitley’s defence of Das. “It doesn’t matter what he says. I have nothing to do with that. I can talk to the party president or the prime minister,” he told reporters in response to questions.

The open defiance, bringing out into the open his bitter relations with Jaitley, came a day after they sparred over CEA. This time the new Rajya Sabha MP has taken on a bureaucrat after a follower, @Proud_Indian suggested it was time to send the IAS officer back to Tamil Nadu cadre.

Meanwhile, Swamy seemed to have reluctantly given up his demand for Subramanian’s ouster even as he continued his diatribe against him. “If BJP Union govt says that we know all about AS but still he is an asset, then I will suspend my demand and wait for events to prove truth.”

His tweet was apparently based on the premise that the government was aware of Subramanian’s background before appointing him and that it was a well thought out decision. “If government made him (CEA) knowing all this, then what can I do? I have put across my point of view and I am told that all this was known earlier. So I said, if you have done everything knowingly and have pardoned him, then I have no objection,” he told reporters.

Earlier in the day, he had tweeted: “If an Indian?, held patriotic, can advise a foreign nation where he works, to twist India’s arm, is to be forgiven, then I suspend my demand..”

In another tweet, he said: “Who said: ‘What about Gujarat? Mr Modi stands indicted as a mediocre performer (judged by tax collection & social outcomes)’…AS in BS 23/1/13.”

After he accused the Subramanian on Wednesday of taking an anti-India stand, Jaitley had said the government had full confidence on CEA and that his advice to government from time to time has been of great value.

The BJP too had distanced itself from Swamy’s comments saying it was his personal opinion.