Raghuram Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said on Friday that he doesn’t want to join politics because of his wife.
“First, my wife has said she will not stay with me if I join politics… Politics everywhere is similar. It is not particularly noisy or whatever, I don’t have any taste for it. Somebody else can give the speeches and gain the votes,” Rajan told Mint when asked if he has something against joining politics.
Rajan, a former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund who was denied a second term as Reserve Bank Governor by the BJP-led government, had last month said that he is open to opportunities.
"I am very happy where I am. But if there is an opportunity to be of use I will always be there," he had said amid speculation that he may be the finance minister if an opposition alliance wins the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Rajan, who is currently the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business in the US, was asked if he would like to return to India in public service or even a political role.
Even Congress president Rahul Gandhi stated that Rajan was among top economists that his party had consulted to draft its minimum income guarantee scheme, Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY.
The scheme assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month income to 20 per cent of India's poorest families if the Congress is voted back to power in the Lok Sabha elections next month.
Rajan, who is credited with taking some bold decisions on cleaning up of bank balance sheets as the RBI Governor, when asked what his priorities would be if he was the finance minister of the country, he said "I think there are short-term issues".
Rajan was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between September 2013 and September 2016. Between 2003 and 2006, he was the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the IMF.
With PTI Inputs