Centre’s decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations evoked mixed reactions from political parties here on Wednesday with the ruling BJP claiming it will help curb black-money menace and the opposition saying it will lead to economic chaos.
In a surprise move Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced that the currency notes would not be legal tender with effect from midnight in a bid to check black money and corruption.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his statement termed the decision as “remarkable and historic”.
He said the move would help eliminate terrorism, black money, corruption and Pakistan sponsored rackets involved in pumping counterfeit Indian currency to the country.
“PM has laid a strong foundation to build a corruption-free India with this decision. We all Indians are together with the PM. This act of him will benefit the poor and the common man and will safeguard the interest of the nation, the CM said, adding “the country will now move forward with great pace towards becoming a developed nation.”
State BJP’s chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayvargiya termed the decision as bold saying it would “flush out” black money from the society and boost the economy.
Vijayvargiya said the move would also check circulation of the fake currency by the Pakistan-based terrorist groups often involved in to fund their terror activities in India.
Reacting to the charges of common people facing inconveniences due to the decision, the BJP spokesperson said, “It’s a matter of few weeks. After that everything will be streamlined. Forget the temporary inconveniences and think about the benefit India’s billion plus population will get in the long run.”
The opposition Congress appeared to be in a double mind on how to react over the decision. Initially senior Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh tweeted: “For the first time Modi ji did what he said. He had said that now he will go for surgical strike on the traders and he did it…Congratulations.”
However later he tweeted again saying: “But this economic surgical strike will not prove to be beneficial for the country; it will lead to economic chaos.”
In another tweet, he added, “Only small and middle level traders transact in cash. Big traders use cheque and plastic money. Now post office and bank officials are going to get lucky”
State Congress chief Arun Yadav was guarded in his reaction. Though he welcomed the move, said the decision was taken in haste and could plunge the country into an economic emergency, affecting traders, farmers, middle-class people and housewives.
He also reminded the prime minister of his earlier promise of bringing black money back from abroad. “What has happened to that promise? People want to know when will Modiji deposit `15 lakh in every citizen’s account?” he tweeted.