Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday criticised the manner in which the Modi government handled the demonetisation process, saying it has led to chaos and hit small farmers, traders, daily wage workers the hardest.
“Though the move was a step in the right direction in order to curb corruption, terror funding and black marketing, the way it has been handled has led to chaos, with the small farmers, traders, daily wagers and the poor the worst hit,” said the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president.
Pointing out that many of these people do not even have bank accounts, Amarinder asked how they could be expected to change their 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
These poor people, he said, had been caught in a sorry situation as a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s quick-fix solution, which had failed to take into account the problems of the vast majority of the Indians.
“In his haste to throw a net over black money network in the country, Modi seemed to have forgotten that the large percentage of Indians were neither corrupt nor were involved black or ‘hawala’ money transactions,” he said.
“These are the people who earn a few hundred rupees a month and save even less, and have no bank accounts in which to put these measly sums,” said Amarinder, adding that no thought or planning appeared to have gone into the implementation of the Modi government’s decision.
As far as the impact of the move on the Punjab elections is concerned, Amarinder said the Congress had no cause for concern.
It was the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that needed to worry, he said.
“While Badals stand to lose thousands of crores of rupees of their black money as a result of the demonetisation, AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal would also end up losing hundreds of crores,” he added.