Hitting out strongly at the Centre over its “unplanned” and “inhuman” demonetisation move, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said that the step would backfire on the Modi government. “People are dying, with your ‘kadak chai’ (strong tea) giving them ulcers on empty stomachs,” he said while taking an apparent dig at the popular ‘Chai pe charcha’ programmes initiated by Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
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He said that the demonetisation move would backfire on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, if not reviewed immediately. Lashing out at the Prime Minister for “taking refuge in histrionics and falsehoods to cover up his failure in managing demonetisation”, Amarinder said contrary to Modi’s claims, poor of the country were suffering the most from the move.
“Those standing in long queues at ATMs and banks to exchange/withdraw a few thousand rupees of their hard-earned money, those dying in hospitals due to refusal to accept old currency, and those going to bed on an empty stomach—are the actual sufferers of this move.
“The vision of your ‘kadak chai’ haunting them in their nightmares are not the rich and mighty, but the poorest of the poor of this country,” Amarinder said. He further alleged that the rich had been tipped off about the move several weeks ago and had already made arrangements for the exchange of their old currency notes.
“The extent to which the poor had been hit by the unplanned and unmanaged demonetisation programme can be gauged from the increase in footfalls, over the past few days, at gurudwaras and other places offering free food,” he said.
“The brazen disregard with which you (Modi government) are standing adamant in your refusal to even consider partially rolling back the dictatorial diktat, in the face of such unprecedented chaos in the country is not only appalling in the extreme, but a crime against common people of India,” Amarinder said.
The Punjab Congress leader demanded that Modi take full responsibility for his failure to safeguard the interests of people in the demonetisation move. “It is not the black money of the rich and the corrupt that is coming out, but the hard-earned money of the poor which you are taking away from them, unmindful of their consequent plight,” he added.