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Home / India News / Opposition slams govt on note ban anniversary

Opposition slams govt on note ban anniversary

The Congress’s youth wing held a demonstration in the capital to protest against the Modi government’s move to render invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes worth Rs 15.44 lakh crore by value -- a move that took out of circulation 86% of all the cash that was in the hands of citizens on November 8, 2016.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2019 05:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In a statement, Congress president Gandhi said it was a preposterous measure fuelled by false propaganda, which did untold damage to people of the country.
In a statement, Congress president Gandhi said it was a preposterous measure fuelled by false propaganda, which did untold damage to people of the country.(PTI)

The Congress and other opposition parties on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government on the third anniversary of the invalidation of high-value banknotes, with Sonia Gandhi calling it the “single most appropriate metaphor for the ill-conceived governance model” of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress’s youth wing held a demonstration in the capital to protest against the Modi government’s move to render invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes worth Rs 15.44 lakh crore by value -- a move that took out of circulation 86% of all the cash that was in the hands of citizens on November 8, 2016.

In a statement, Congress president Gandhi said it was a “preposterous measure fuelled by false propaganda, which did untold damage” to people of the country.

“Today is the third anniversary of ‘Tughlaki blunder of demonetisation’, inflicted by a tyrannical government hell bent upon attacking livelihoods and lives of its own people,” the statement said.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government justified the banknote ban on grounds that it was aimed at ferreting out black money and striking a blow against fake currency and terror financing. The ban led to long queues at automated teller machines and bank branches all over the country as people struggled to deposit invalidated banknotes and get new ones. Several dozen people were reported to have collapsed and died while they were in such queues.

Three years since the announcement, the notes ban has not served any purpose, the Congress president said in her statement. “The BJP government even told the Supreme Court that Rs 300,000 crore of black money will be purged as it would not return into the system. Subsequently, the Prime Minister added the objective of abolition of cash currency usage and to replace it with a digital economy. Three years later, Prime Minister Modi has failed spectacularly on all these counts,” she said.

The Congress president said no matter how much the government may try and “evade responsibility for this ludicrous and short-sighted” measure, the nation will ensure that they are held accountable. ‘The Prime Minister and his colleagues have stopped speaking about demonetisation… hoping that the nation will forget. Unfortunately for them, the Congress will ensure that neither the nation nor history, forgives or forgets,” Gandhi said.

Her son Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter: “It’s three years since the demonetisation terror attack that devastated the Indian economy, taking many lives, wiping out lakhs of small businesses and leaving millions of Indians unemployed. Those behind this vicious attack have yet to be brought to justice.”

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said the “futile exercise” had ruined the country’s economy.

“Today is the third anniversary of #DeMonetisationDisaster. Within minutes of announcement, I had said that it will ruin the economy and the lives of millions. Renowned economists, common people and all experts now agree. Figures from RBI {Reserve Bank of India} have also shown it was a futile exercise,” she tweeted.

In Lucknow, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav attendedthe birthday celebrations of Khazanchi, the boy who was born when his mother was standing in a long queue outside a bank to get her old currency notes changed.

“The wounds of demonetisation and GST have now become deeper,” Yadav said, referring to the Goods and Services Tax that came into effect on July 1, 2017, and has been criticized for its allegedly flawed implementation.

Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati also lashed out at the government. “In the last three years, the results are coming before the public in different forms of demonetisation brought in an immature and hasty manner without any preparation. But the main reason for this is the increasing unemployment and deteriorating economic situation in the country and people are keeping an eye on it,” she tweeted.

Earlier, Youth Congress president Srinivas BV said the Prime Minister should apologise to the nation and to all those who lost their life due to note ban.“He should apologise to all those who died for non availability of new currency notes and could not pay their hospital bills, to those who faced daily hardship and lost valuable time. Demonetisation was a self inflicted wound on the Indian economy, which even three years later remains a mystery as to why the country was pushed into such a disaster” Srinivas said.

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