Opposition parties on Tuesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for its demonetisation move six years ago, and termed it as a “gimmick” and “criminal act”. Leaders from the Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) cornered the Centre and raised questions on the achievement of the note ban since 2016.
“Demonetisation was a deliberate move by ‘PayPM’ to help 2-3 of his billionaire friends monopolise India’s economy by finishing small and medium businesses,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge called demonetisation as “6 years of organised loot and legalised plunder”. In a series of tweets, he attacked the BJP government calling it an “epic failure” that led to the deaths of 150 people standing in long queues, sufferings of the unorganised sector and “plunging India’s growth”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the scrapping of ₹1,000 and ₹500 banknotes on 8 November 2016 with an aim to curb black money and promote digital transactions along with elimination of terror funding.
Sharing an excerpt from his book, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien called demonetisation an “economic genocide”.
“6 years ago, today. A gimmick that turned out to be an economic genocide #demonetisation. Wrote about this in my book in 2017 #InsideParliament. @MamataOfficial called it first ‘withdraw this draconian decision’ minutes after announcement. Others agreed, but only weeks later,” he said in a tweet.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said demonetisation was a move to “kill off the Indian economy” and claimed that it resulted in a record-high influx of cash in circulation.
“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’,” he said.
Senior Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam asked the Centre to “take stock” of the promises PM Modi made during his speech back in 2016.
“Demonetisation came with great fanfare and promises. Ending of black money, crushing of terrorism, flourishing of economy..! Thus it went. Now the time has come to take stock of those http://promises.PM is requested to present a white paper on demonetisation,” he said.