Demonetisation was the biggest destroyer of livelihoods and small businesses, says Congress

The party and other Opposition leaders mount attack on the Modi government on the sixth anniversary of demonetisation

Updated - November 08, 2022 10:24 pm IST

Published - November 08, 2022 04:32 pm IST - New Delhi:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves at supporters at a public meeting, during the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, in Kamareddy, on November 7, 2022.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves at supporters at a public meeting, during the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, in Kamareddy, on November 7, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Launching a sharp attack on the Narendra Modi government on the sixth anniversary of demonetisation, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said the note ban was “the biggest destroyer of livelihoods and small businesses”. Mr. Kharge also asked the Prime Minister if he would apologise for the same..

Mr. Kharge cited former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s description of the note ban being “organised loot and legalised plunder”.

“PM Modi, Will you ever apologise for this epic disaster? Will you ever pay tribute to those 150 who lost their lives in bank queues or medical emergencies, and provide solace to their families ? Would you ever understand the pain that #DeMo inflicted on our people,” Mr. Kharge asked on Twitter as he posted a series of tweets on the issue.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, “Demonetisation was a deliberate move by ‘PayPM’ to ensure 2-3 of his billionaire friends monopolise India’s economy by finishing small and medium businesses”.

The Congress has been using ‘PayCM’ and ‘PayPM’ tags to allege corruption under the BJP rule at Karnataka and in Centre.

Addressing a press conference at party headquarters, spokesperson Gourav Vallabh demanded a White Paper from the Modi government on the 2016 move.

“One of the stated objectives of the demonetisation was to promote digital transactions as the government felt too much cash was in circulation. The sharp jump in cash has clearly exploded that objective of the government and sent it the same way as other goals like fighting corruption, weeding out fake notes and curbing terror funding,” Mr. Vallabh said.

‘A gimmic, economic genocide’

Leaders from other Opposition parties too targeted the government over the 2016 note ban.

“6 years ago, today. A gimmick that turned out to be an economic genocide #demonetisation. Wrote about this in my book in 2017 #InsideParliament,” Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien tweeted, adding that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first to seek the withdrawal of “this draconian decision’ minutes after announcement”.

“No stated objective of #demonetisation -curbing black money & counterfeit currency, eliminating terrorism or cashless economy- was fulfilled. Who is responsible?”asked Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D. Raja on Twitter.

“The sixth anniversary of Modi and his govt.’s hubris, killing off the Indian economy. Demonetisation has resulted in chaos apart from a record high of cash in circulation. ₹30.88 lakh crore! The worst jumla of all - ‘This suffering is only for 50 days’,”tweeted CPI (Marxist) general-secretary Sitaram Yechury.

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