Criticising the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to scrap Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray warned the Union government and said if its ‘surgical strike’ on black money was going to put the public in trouble,people would also resort to surgical strikes of their own and it will cost the government heavily.
Maintaining that he was not against any move that recovered black money, Thackeray hit out at the government for the way it had implemented the demonetisation programme, causing droves of people to throng banks all day long in serpentine queues to get currency notes exchanged.
The Sena chief demanded that the government extend the December 30 deadline to exchange the decommissioned notes. He also demanded that the state government extend its November 11 limit.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that all tolls plazas would let vehicles pass without tolls and that electricity bills, water bills and public taxes could be paid in the scrapped notes till November 11.
“Modi usually does ‘Mann ki baat.’ But this time, he did ‘Dhan ki baat,’ and forgot ‘Jan ki Baat,’ Thackeray said. “After creating problems for the public, our Prime Minister has gone to Japan. He should have gone for Switzerland and condusted his surgical strike on Swiss bank accounts and transfer the money into the accounts of the commoners,” Uddhav said.
He said that he was not an economist and had no clue when the advantages of the move could start showing, if at all. “But, for now, one look at the queues in front of banks shows that the common man is the worst affected and has been suddenly robbed of his money,” he said, adding that the government should have thought this through and implemented the move only once banks were adequately prepared.
The Sena chief also questioned the government’s logic behind introducing a Rs 2,000 currency note after decommissioning notes of lower denominations. “Does he (Modi) even understand what he is doing? There is no logic,” he said.
In response to Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) chief Mayawati’s criticism that the move was triggered by the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, Thackeray said that everyone will be able to see who spends more money during elections. He hastily added that the Shiv Sena was not tensed about this as it had the goodwill of the Shiv Sainiks.