Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel resigned due to personal reasons and there was no political pressure on him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, weeks after Patel stepped down abruptly from his post.
Modi said Patel had expressed his desire to quit about six-sevenths ago on personal grounds. He had even written a letter to this effect.
"I am revealing for the first time, he (Urjit Patel) was telling me about this for the past 6-7 months before his resignation. He gave it even in writing. He wrote to me personally," Modi said in an interview to news agency ANI, breaking his silence for the first time after Patel's resignation last month.
He also dispelled the Opposition's criticism that Patel was made to resign. "No such question arises. I acknowledge that Patel did a good job as RBI Governor," the Prime Minister said.
Fifty-five-year-old Patel had stunned the nation when he suddenly announced his decision to quit on December 10. His decision had taken even the government by surprise, which took some time to react.
According to RBI sources that at 5 pm on December 10, Patel called a meeting of top officials and announced his decision. He then called the officer responsible for putting out the central bank's decision on its website and handed him the letter of his resignation requesting the officer to post that immediately.
Minutes after that, he left the Mint Street office.