Demonetization has “changed the rules of the game” for all parties as black money will now be out of elections, BJP President Amit Shah said on Tuesday and asserted that the upcoming UP Assembly polls will be contested on performance and not on politics of caste and nepotism. Shah also hit out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has criticised demonetization, saying that despite being an economist, he had brought the growth rate down “from 8 per cent to 4 per cent” while a “chaiwallah” PM has again raised it to 7.6 per cent.
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Speaking at a programme ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’, the BJP chief said that people were supporting the Centre’s demonetization move and it has also “changed the rules of the game by dealing a blow to blackmoney” which was used in elections. “If it causes problems, it will cause problems for all political parties. It will be a level playing field. We want that black money is removed from the system, it is they who don’t want it,” Shah said.
Responding to a question about BSP chief Mayawati calling demonetization as financial emergency, Shah responded with a jibe saying it was definitely so for her party. “In the upcoming UP elections, the politics of caste, the politics of nepotism will be coming to an end and the politics of performance will take centre-stage,” he said. Hitting out at political rivals, Shah said that till November 8, they were asking “what are you doing on black money and now they are saying why are you taking action against black money”.
He claimed that post demonetization black money will not survive, because if is left in homes it will become junk and if it comes to banks it will become part of the system and will be taxable. Asked about Singh’s criticism, Shah said that he is an economist who was at top financial positions for years from RBI to Finance Ministry to being Prime Minister. “Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not an economist but he had taken the economy to a growth rate of 8 per cent.
“Then Singh became PM and left it at 4 per cent. Now a ‘chaiwallah’ PM has taken over and again raised it to 7.6 per cent,” Shah said. It is Manmohan Singh, who has to answer questions rather than asking them, the BJP chief said. When he left the post, crores of people did not even have bank accounts, he said. Shah said that after seeing Singh, he does not want to be an economist.