Keeping up its criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government’s demonetisation move, the Shiv Sena on Monday directly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his speech on New Year’s eve was stale and didn’t provide any respite to people suffering due to demonetisation.
An editorial in the party mouthpiece, Saamana, reads, “Today, even after 50 days since demonetisation nothing has changed. It was expected that Modi will soothe people’s distress through his address to the nation on New Year’s eve, but he didn’t seem to have taken it too seriously. He simply thanked all those who stood in long queues and died, and shook an umbrella full of promises on their heads.”
In the editorial, the Sena called Modi’s announcements a repackaging of old schemes from the time of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government like “old dhokla with fresh chutney” or “stale bhajis that have been fried in oil once again.”
“For example, the prime minister announced his decision to give Rs 6,000 to pregnant women. This scheme is old. In 2010, it was implemented as Indira Gandhi Matrutva Sahyog Yojana,” the editorial read, adding such stale food only leads to acidity, indigestion, blocking of arteries and ultimately death.
The prime minister did not answer people’s questions as to for how long they might have to bear with the inconveniences of demonetisation or how much black money has been recovered, probably because he himself doesn’t have answers, the Sena said.
The party said, meanwhile, the conditions of district cooperative banks has become even more fragile and farmers are going to have to bear the brunt. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is not willing to accept demonetised notes from these banks, aid for the 2015 kharif season has still not reached these banks, and they will have to also bear the burden of completing Modi’s promise of waiving interest on farmers’ debt for the Rabi season.
“We have always been with Modi and will continue to be so, but if ill administration of the economy is going to invite distress for the public, we think it is not a crime, but patriotism to speak out the truth for the country’s well-being,” the editorial reads.