New Delhi : Leading the Opposition charge against demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy has failed to check corruption and black money in the country, but it ended up adding to the woes of the poor. Claiming that a new black market was created to exchange the demonetised notes, Gandhi said demonetisation was a direct attack on the country’s financial institutions and the poor. “A new market for the conversion of money has been set up. What resulted is an attack on financial institutions and poor people of the country,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi added that farmers do not have the money to buy agri inputs, traders cannot procure essential commodities without money and the poor are facing many hardships. He reiterated that PM Modi must address the problems being faced by the public. Gandhi also alleged that Income-Tax raids on corporates revealed that payments have been made in large sums to Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat’s chief minister before 2014.”I-T raided Aditya Birla group and Rs 12 crore was paid to Modi. Raids on Sahara revealed that they paid Rs 40 crore to the Gujarat chief minister,” he said.
Joining Gandhi at the joint press conference attended by Opposition parties, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that demonetisation and remonetisation were both scams. “The government is looting money of poor people and giving it to rich people in the form of loan,” Banerjee said.
She questioned PM Modi whether he would resign if things don’t go back to normal even after 50 days. “Even if after 50 days, things will not change. Will the prime minister resign?” she said. She attacked the Modi government for pushing the country 20 years backwards. “In push for cashless economy, Modi government has become baseless. It’s a total loss of face for them,” she said. Describing the situation prevailing in the country as a “super emergency”, Banerjee said it has not been officially declared. “It is not emergency, it’s super emergency. Just it has not been officially declared,” Banerjee said.
On a few Opposition parties giving the joint presser a miss, Banerjee said they are “busy” and the Opposition will come out with a common minimum programme to address the issue. The Left, SP, BSP, JD(U) and NCP were among those in the Opposition camp who stayed away from the joint press conference citing difference. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that they were not taken into confidence before announcing the press conference. Many parties are still unhappy over Rahul Gandhi meeting PM Modi on the last day of the Parliament Winter Session.
The BJP, however, hit back at the Opposition for questioning the intention behind demonetisation saying it was done to check corruption, Maoism and terrorism. Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a press conference, said “corrupt people are being arrested every day. Is Rahul Gandhi having a problem with this.”
On the corruption charges against prime minister, Prasad said Rahul should first answer about the corruption during UPA rule.