Rahul visits bank to exchange old note, hits out at Modi

Rahul Gandhi also interacted with people standing in queue and listened to their troubles.

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:50 pm IST

Published - November 11, 2016 06:25 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi queue up at the SBI Parliament Street branch with old notes on Friday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi queue up at the SBI Parliament Street branch with old notes on Friday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

On Friday, even as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stood in solidarity with others in a serpentine queue outside a branch of the State Bank of India on Parliament Street, to exchange his old notes, his colleague and former Union Minister Anand Sharma attacked the government for unleashing “financial chaos” across the country: the Centre, he stressed, had no legal power to limit people’s access to their own money deposited in banks.

Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking an ‘anti-poor’ measure, Mr. Gandhi said ordinary people were waiting for long hours to exchange their demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. “There is no crorepati in the queue,” Mr. Gandhi said. “People are facing hardships: that’s why I have come to join them. I am here to exchange my Rs. 4,000 with new notes. ”

Taking a swipe at the media, Mr. Gandhi told the gathered reporters, “Neither you [reporters] nor your crorepati owners nor the Prime Minister understand the problems faced by people.”

After reaching the SBI’s Parliament Street branch at around 4.25 p.m., he waited for his turn in the queue, interacting with others, listening to their troubles, and obliging people who wanted to take selfies with him.

Meanwhile, at the AICC headquarters, hours after BJP chief Amit Shah described those criticising the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes as votaries of black money, Mr. Sharma said, “For the past two days, we have seen financial chaos unfold across the country. The government has no power to impose withdrawal limits for people’s money in banks.”

Accusing Mr. Shah of misleading the country, he said the Modi government had failed to make adequate prior arrangements as banks and ATMs were running out of money.

Stressing that around 60 per cent of the population — small traders, shopkeepers, daily wagers and labourers — were unnecessarily suffering, he said it was the right of the opposition to voice people’s concerns: “We will seek accountability from the government.”

Mr. Sharma said when the previous UPA government had withdrawn a particular series of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes in January 2014, people had been given sufficient notice to exchange their money.

“Prime Minister Modi had said that cautioning the people would have alerted terrorists and money launderers. That is a silly argument. Which terrorist would have gone to the bank to get cash exchanged?” asked Mr. Sharma.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.