It may have welcomed the Centre’s decision to wage a war against black money by demonetising currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination, but the distress caused to people, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, has not gone unnoticed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The political mentor of the BJP is learnt to have conveyed to the party the problems in dispersal of new currency.
While the cadre has reported widespread distress among people queuing up to get their old currency exchanged, the Sangh brass is also gearing up to placate the small and medium traders who have been its support base.
According to sources in the Sangh, while a larger section is happy about the surgical strike against black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements perceived to paint the rich as black money hoarders have not been well received.
“There is a danger is generalising. Not all those who have made money are cheats or black money hoarders. It has upset some people,” said a source.
He said the comment was comparable to the PM’s earlier stand on a majority of the cow vigilantes being criminals.
The Sangh is tight-lipped about the impact of demonetisation on the forthcoming state assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and three other states, but admits the move can have an adverse effect. “The wedding season is on and there are people who are facing hardships,” the source said.
The Sangh, however, has thrown its weight behind the government that has ruled out a rollback.
Deputy Prachar Pramukh (media in-charge) J Nandakumar in a tweet said those seeking a rollback of the policy are the “Same Award Wapasi gang, same Afzal Guru supporters and Break India brigade”.
Following feedback from the ground, the BJP has also been sounded off in an informal interaction to guard against rise in crime and the possibility of a breach in law and order.
“In some areas, where people do not use banking facilities, the chances of law and order being disrupted are high. We hope the government will take into account these issues,” said a Sangh functionary.