AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi has added a twist to the demonetisation controversy, alleging that bank ATMs have been kept without cash deliberately in Muslim-majority areas.
Also, the Lok Sabha parliamentarian said at a rally in Hyderabad that barely 2% Muslims have access to credit cards, underlining the lack of access to digital money among the religious minorities.
“In our areas, bank branches are not opened. In our areas, money for ATMs is not coming. But in other areas, money is flowing. Why should we opt for cashless economy?” he asked his supporters.
He criticised PM Narendra Modi on Monday for wreaking “havoc in every household”.
The Modi government scrapped 500- and 1,000-rupee notes from November 9, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation from the country’s cash-driven economy.
Opposition parties have called the demonetisation drive a bad move because of poor planning.
The Congress, which is at the forefront of protests, didn’t back Owaisi and asked him to prove his allegations instead.
“We don’t believe what he is saying. He should give proof if anything like this has happened. During the UPA rule, bank accounts were opened in all areas and no community was deprived,” former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said.
His party colleague from Kerala, Shama Mohamed said Owaisi’s party and the BJP are both trying to divide the nation.
“I come from a state with 27% Muslim population. In Mallapuram, there are no shortage of banks and ATMs. Hindus, Muslims, Christians … all are facing shortage of cash.”