Days after sharing dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Pune and lauding each other, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said the demonetisation move can destroy the economy.
He likened the demonetisation fallout to the 1975 Emergency and said that the country is facing ‘economic emergency’ .
“The nation can progress and the economy can improve only when people have money in their hands. It is unfortunate that the government is terming hard-earned cash as black money,” said the former Union agriculture minister.
Pawar, who was addressing his party workers in Ghatkopar, said, “There is a falsehood being propagated that the move will bring down prices and reduce corruption. On the contrary, those with black money are not affected at all.”
He said that history will repeat itself. “During the Emergency, we praised it saying that it has reduced crime and people are happy. However, in the 1977 elections, we were booted out and could not secure even one seat in Mumbai. The same will happen now,” he added.
He also taunted the BJP for its repeated boasting of Acche Din (good days). “Seventeen people have died and people are lining up for hours in the bank. Here people don’t have money to run their house and they say all is well. Where are the Achhe Din promised by Modi?” he questioned.
The demonetisation announcement made by Modi on November 8 has caused immense hardship for people who queue up for hours and the banking staff whose only job is to tackle the issue.
Pawar termed it unfortunate that critics of this move are being painted as supporters of black money.
He said Modi is more interested in bullet trains than easing common man’s travel woes.
Pawar also met finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday demanding the restrictions imposed on the district cooperative banks be relaxed and they be allowed to transact in old banknotes.
Modi’s criticism of opposition parties abroad is unfortunate, Pawar said, adding that the PM represents India and not the BJP during his visits.
The NCP chief praised West Bangal chief minister Mamta Banerjee for clean politics. “She lives in a 10X10 house, wears slippers and a simple sari.”
“It was unfortunate that she was being accused of supporting black money just because she raised her voice against the problems faced by people,” rued Pawar.