Jaitley cuts short China visit by a day

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cut short his trip to China by a day and returned to the national capital on Sunday night, amid BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy’s tirade against him and his ministry officials.

A finance ministry spokeperson, however, told IANS that Jaitley’s five-day official visit was curtailed by a day as all important meetings were over.

“His meeting with Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei had been advanced to Saturday (June 25) according to the convenience of both the ministers. All his meetings were over, so he came back early,” the spokesperson said.

However, his cutting short of the visit is being viewed against the backdrop of Swamy’s tirade against Jaitley, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramaniam and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

Jaitley reportedly has sought that the party take action against Swamy and is expected to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The war of words between Jaitley and Swamy began when Swamy, without naming Jaitley, tweeted: “People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline, there would be a bloodbath.”

This followed Jaitley’s public admonition of Swamy after the latter called for the sacking of the Chief Economic Adviser.

Jaitley had said: “The party has said it doesn’t share Swamy’s view. I will also add one more fact from the point of view of discipline of Indian politicians… to what extent should we attack those, the discipline and constraint of whose offices prevent them from responding and this has happened more than once.”

Swamy had also targeted the Economic Affairs Secretary and Jaitley had strongly backed the official.

In another tweet on June 24, Swamy urged the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership to ask ministers to wear traditional Indian clothes when they go abroad, the day Jaitley’s photographs of meeting with the Bank of China Chairman in Beijing in a lounge suit appeared in several newspapers.

“BJP should direct our ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie they look like waiters,” Swamy posted. The comment stung Jaitley.

–IANS

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