Raghuram Rajan said, You have to have internal harmony to have external security”.

New Delhi:

Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, endorsed Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra on Wednesday, underscoring the need for “internal harmony”. This, he indicated, was also the way the sufferings of the “lower middle class” could be addressed, he indicated.

Dr Rajan had joined the footmarch from Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. The Congress tweeted the video clip of the march, captioning it: “The increasing number of people standing up to unite the country against hatred shows that we will be successful”.

By evening, another clip was doing the rounds of social media, which showed Mr Rajan having a sit-down discussion with Mr Gandhi.

“Farmers and the poor constitute one India. Then a group of 5-10 people constitute another India,” Mr Gandhi is heard saying.

“The ones who are caught in the middle, the lower middle class, has suffered the most,” Dr Rajan responded. “They lost their jobs. Unemployment is spiralling. Loans are going up too, as they are taking loans. Interests are rising. Regardless of what political parties are doing – Bharat ko jodna hai (the mission is to bring India together). Which house can stand when the brothers are fighting. You have to have internal harmony to have external security,” he added.

The BJP’s Amit Malviya tweeted a jab, saying the former RBI Governor “fancies himself the next Manmohan Singh” and his portrayal of the Indian economy was “coloured and opportunistic”.

Dr Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, was recruited for the RBI post by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2013. He quit in 2016 without seeking a second term amid sharp attacks from the BJP’s Subramanian Swamy.

Mr Swamy had accused Dr Rajan of an “apparently deliberate attempt to wreck the Indian economy”. He also alleged that Dr Rajan was “mentally not fully Indian” since he continues to renew the Green Card issued to him by the US government.

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