The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister on Thursday distanced itself from an op-ed article on the Constitution written by its chairperson Bibek Debroy, saying that he wrote it in his personal capacity.

The council clarified that Debroy’s article did not reflect its views or those of the Government of India in any way.

The article, titled “There’s a case for ‘we the people’ to embrace a new Constitution”, was published on August 14 in Mint. In the article, Debroy said that the Constitution is largely based on the Government of India Act, 1935, and is, in that sense, a colonial legacy.

The economist also noted that the Constitution was written 73 years ago in 1950. He cited a study by the University of Chicago Law School that found that the average life span of written constitutions was only 17 years.

“Much of what we debate begins and ends with the Constitution,” Debroy wrote. “A few amendments won’t do. We should go back to the drawing board and start from first principles, asking what these words in the Preamble mean now: socialist, secular, democratic, justice, liberty and equality.”

The article received criticism on social media, with some users even calling for his arrest. Some others, however, expressed support for Debroy and said that he had the right to air his views.

On Thursday night, Debroy also reiterated that the article was his individual view and not that of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.

“Whenever the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister comes out with views in the public domain, it puts them on the website and tweets it from the handle,” Debroy said, according to ANI. “In this particular case, nothing of the sort had happened.”

The economist added that this was not the first time that he wrote on the subject. “I’ve written on such an issue in the past also articulating similar kinds of views,” he said.

Debroy stated he had not written that one should “junk the Constitution”, in an apparent reference to the reaction to his article by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh.

Ramesh wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on August 15: “On this 77th Independence Day, the Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the PM has sounded the bugle for junking the Constitution — of which Dr Ambedkar was a prime architect. He wants the country to embrace a brand new one. This has always been the agenda of the Sangh Parivar. Be warned, India!”