Sharpening its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress today said demonetisation was “Modi Made Disaster” and asked him to introspect whether he has moral right to continue after causing harm to India’s economy and decimating it by over Rs 3 lakh crore.
Congress incharge of communication Randeep Surjewala also asked the prime minister to apologise to the nation and hold an immediate inquiry into the alleged demonetisation “scam”. He said the entire purpose of demonetisation stood defeated after the decision failed to achieve its objectives of curbing black money, fake currency, terror funding and digitisation of financial transactions.
“If morality has any basis in our polity, it is time for the Prime Minister to introspect and to think whether he has a moral right to continue in his office even for a day after decimating India’s economy by over Rs 3 lakh crore and causing damage to it,” he told reporters. Surjewala also said, “He must apologise to the Nation. He must also order an immediate enquiry into the demonetisation scam.”
He said one thing is clear that the “disaster of demonetisation was nothing but ‘MMD’ – ‘Modi Made Disaster'”. He asked who is responsible for this ‘disaster’ in which India’s economy lost over Rs 3 lakh crore in which housewives lost their lives’ earnings, in which 15 lakh people lost their jobs, medium and small enterprises were forced to shut down and credibility of financial Institutions including Reserve Bank was put under question.
The Congress leader said that is why when former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan showed the mirror of truth to the Prime Minister and the BJP government, “it is time for the Prime Minister to introspect”. Surjewala accused the Prime Minister to have “misled” this country and “lied” to the nation and asked him to introspect and think if he should remain in office.
He said 99 per cent of the money returned to the banks after demonetisation and of the remaining Rs 16,000 crore, one has to still count money deposited with Royal Bank of Nepal and the money deposited in court cases as also with NRIs. “Where is the black-money of Rs 3 to 5 lakh crore which the Attorney General of India promised to the Supreme Court on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” he asked.
Surjewala said the purpose of note ban stands defeated which the Finance Ministry has stated on November 8. On the issue of ‘naxalism’ and ‘terrorism’ to be fought by demonetisation, he said there have been 32 major terror incidents in JK alone and 13 major terror incidents of naxalism. “So how has the ‘Naxalism’ and ‘Terrorism’ stopped?” he asked.
The Congress leader also said that before demonetisation, the value of monthly ‘Digital Transactions’ was Rs 94 lakh crore and in July 2017 that value has gone up to Rs 104 lakh crore – a mere increase of Rs 10 lakh crore. “The real increase in ‘Digital Transactions’ happened to the extent of 58 per cent and 49 per cent between 2011 and 2013. So, even that purpose stands defeated,” he said.
The former RBI governor Rajan had cautioned the government against cost of demonetisation and suggested that there were better alternatives to achieve the main goals of note ban. In his book titled ‘I Do What I Do: On Reforms Rhetoric and Resolve’, Rajan, who was the governor between 2013 and 2016, had also warned of what would happen if the preparations for demonetisation were inadequate.