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How India's central bank chief was pushed toward the exit

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Reserve Bank of India Gov. Raghuram Rajan attends a news conference after their bimonthly monetary policy review in Mumbai on April 5.   © Reuters

MUMBAI Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is one of the most popular central bank chiefs in the world. He is admired for his intellect, and his good looks certainly don't hurt.

Rajan enjoys strong support from India's business community, thanks to his successful leadership of the central bank and his outspoken advocacy for economic reform. So his announcement on June 18 that he will step down Sept. 4, at the end of a single three-year term, came as a surprise. The move follows demands for his ouster by members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and an affiliated Hindu nationalist group. Rajan will be the first RBI governor in more than two decades not to get a second term.

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