Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Friday expressed hope that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would agree to his party’s stance on demonetisation after the latter reviewed his decision on the move. “After reviewing his decision on the completion of 50 days of demonetisation, Nitish Kumar would take a decision after consulting his party keeping in mind the ground realities in Bihar. But we would like Nitish Kumar to be with us in our struggle and movement that we have launched against demonetisation especially with regard to its poor implementation,” Khurshid told reporters here.
Notably, Nitish Kumar had supported the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move but his party had later made it clear that it would review its decision (on demonetisation) after completion of 50 days i.e. after December 30.
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In reply to a query, Khurshid said that talks were being held with JD(U) on the issue to convince them on demonetisation and its ill-effects.
“We are not resorting to any kind of any illegal pressure. We are trying to convince (our partner in Bihar),” he said when pointed out Congress is putting pressure on JD(U) to join it on the issue.
While on Lalu Prasad, he said “his party is walking along with us on demonetisation”.
Cornered by the media repeatedly over Nitish Kumar having taken different approach than that of Congress on demonetisation, Bihar Congress Chief Ashok Choudhary had to intervene into the matter saying that everyone should wait for Kumar’s decision.
“This is a grand alliance of three parties which is being run on the basis of common minimum programme. Political parties may have different national views. RJD and Congress have taken a view (on demonetisation). Nitish Kumar has said that his party would review its decision on demonetisation and we should wait for it,” Choudhary said.
Khurshid, a former union minister, was on his visit to Bihar to put across with party’s stand on demonetisation. “Congress party is not against the demonetisation but is very much against the manner in which it was implemented,” the former minister said.
Questioning the government’s decision to demonetise high value currency notes, Khurshid asked who gave the power to the government to take decision on demonetisation and under which law it was invoked.
“This should have been done by the Reserved Bank of India (RBI) with its Governor taking the decision, Khurshid, a member of party’s apex decision making body Congress Working Committee,” said, adding that the matter whether it could be done with an executive order or by legislation was pending with the Supreme Court for adjudication.
Stating that Morarji Desai government had also carried out demonetisation in 1978, he said that even in 1978 the government had first come out with an Ordinance, then it was ratified by the Parliament with apex court delivering judgement in its favour.
“Why was not this process adopted this time. Nobody bothered to reply be it the Prime Minister or the BJP,” Khurshid said, adding that if there was no amendment to the RBI Act, then why the government did not go to Parliament to seek its approval on demonetisation.
The government has not responded till date about Rahul Gandhi’s question as to whom the government had consulted on demonetisation, Khurshid said.