While a section of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders feel it could face the heat of the decision to scrap Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes in the ensuing civic elections, Opposition parties are not sure if the hassles faced by citizens owing to the move will act in their favour.
Thanks to the ban, candidates in the fray for municipal and legislative council elections will not be able to spend unaccounted money ahead of the polls, scheduled to take place in the next four months.
“This has upset not only the trading community but common man too. It could reflect in the voting pattern in the ensuing elections,” said the minister.
He also said the decision was taken without any deliberation on party level. “In Uttar Pradesh, the Thakurs, trading communities and even common people do not deposit money in banks. The decision has upset them and may have an impact on Assembly elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress leaders, too, are not confident if the decision will work in their favour. “People are facing problems, but it may not mean it will go against the ruling parties. The major problem before our candidates is the ‘unofficial expenditure’ in the civic elections after the ban on the currency notes. The ruling parties have many ways to make funds available, but it may become difficult for us,” said a former minister from the Congress.
“The impact of the hardships will not last for more than a few weeks. The action against black money will certainly impress people. It is difficult to assess the impact of the decision on the elections, more so in Maharashtra, where other issues such as Maratha agitation are raging,” said Bhalchandra Kango, political analyst and CPI leader.
Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil said people will soon realise the decision will not serve the purpose. “For the first time, the municipal council elections will be held in a free and fair manner, as there will be no flow of black money. The currency ban will help us in civic elections,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.