Unleashing ED before elections undemocratic: Ex-RBI guv Raghuram Rajan

His remarks comes a day after the ED's arrest of JMM chief & ex CM Hemant Soren

Jaipur: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday said “unleashing” the Enforcement Directorate before elections is wrong and “undemocratic”, and it should bother everyone not just politicians.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren on money laundering allegations after he resigned as the chief minister of Jharkhand.

Speaking on the inaugural day of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) here, Rajan said that to think they are just “putting some politicians behind bars” is wrong because eventually it is the people who are being left with no choice when it comes to choosing Opposition leaders.

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“What is your choice if leaders from Opposition parties are put behind bars? If it leaves you with no choice then it is not a politicians’ issue alone. This is the issue for everyone. So unleashing the ED before elections is wrong and undemocratic,” he said.

Referring to his latest book, “Breaking the Mould: Reimagining India’s economic future”, which he co-authored with economist Rohit Lamba, Rajan said free speech and democracy are “very important” when it comes to the upcoming sectors which need “research, creativity, new ideas”.

The 60-year-old also talked about the need to focus on “decentralisation” and changing the mindset of “direct benefit transfers and freebies” which political parties are resorting to due to their “short-sightedness.

He gave the example of states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Delhi which he said are focussing on sectors such as health and education thanks to the “little decentralisation” that have taken place there.

“I have written this in my book as well that what we require is decentralisation, from the Centre to states, from states to municipalities and panchayats. This is what I believe would give birth to a new movement,” he added.

Touted as the “biggest literary festival in the world”, JLF 2024 will host some of the world’s best thinkers, writers, and speakers over the next five days.

The 550 speakers and artistes attending the event are from across a vast array of nationalities. They include the likes of Paul Lynch, Hernan Diaz, Ben Macintyre, Bonnie Garmus, Richard Osman, Peter Frankopan, Colin Thubron, Mary Beard, Kai Bird, Katie Kitamura, Monica Ali, Nicholas Shakespeare, Damon Galgut.

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