“Rupaya aaj aspatal mein, jeevan aur mrityu ke beech khada hua hai (The rupee is in the hospital today, fighting for its life.),” these were the words of then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Damodardas Modi in 2013 when his party the BJP was in the Opposition.
Today, the condition of the Indian currency has worsened and the rupee nosedived to a new lifetime low of 71.10 against the US dollar on Monday (September 3). Things have changed and Modi is now the Prime Minister of the country with his party enjoying a clear majority in the House.
However, Modi who used to be angry seeing the Indian currency in peril, has now turned silent and not ready to utter a word of assurance. Another top BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who had once said that the rupee was falling in a manner that she was scared to switch on her TV is also silent on the issue.
When in Opposition, the views of BJP leaders on the fall of rupee were different than that of today. Because today, they are in power. But as they say, you can’t delete your past.
Then and now: BJP leaders on fall of rupee
"I am in governance too, I know that the value of the rupee cannot dwindle so swiftly. What is the reason behind the Indian rupee falling like this? You will have to give an answer to this question. This nation demands an answer." Narendra Modi in 2012
A year later, the then leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj had famously said that the Indian currency had fallen in a manner that she was scared to switch on her TV.
"Rupaya ne is tarah phisalna shuru kiya, is tarah girna shuru kiya, kal toh TV lagane se dar lag raha tha. (The rupee has started falling in such a manner that I was scared of switching on the TV last night)."
In 2013, another BJP leader and current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had termed the fall of the rupee a "panic situation" and demanded then prime minister Manmohan Singh's response. But today, things have changed and the "panic situation" of 2013 when the rupee had fallen below 67 against the US dollar, has also changed to "not need to worry" in 2018.
Reacting to the rupee's 're-hospitalisation' Jaitley had said, "India’s foreign exchange reserves are comfortable by global standards and sufficient to mitigate any undue volatility in the foreign exchange market."