Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition, which hounded the government in Parliament over its demonetisation move, had more noise and little substance. Stressing that the government is confident about the steps it took against corruption and black money, Jaitley said the opposition’s strategy is to disrupt, not debate.
“First day, it was a debate without any pre-conditions. From the next day onwards, they started putting unreasonable conditions and it continues,” said Jaitley as he addressed reporters in Parliament. Targeting the Congress, Jaitley said, “Parties who were once a part of every scandal in the country are now opposing demonetisation…those who didn’t consider scandals to be a blunder are now considering demonetisation a blunder.”
WATCH VIDEO: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Slams Opposition Over Demonetisation
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“Our stand is clear. There must be a discussion on the issue,” the finance minister told reporters after a pre-lunch session in Rajya Sabha in which opposition leaders like Manmohan Singh, Derek O’Brien and Naresh Agarwal berated the government for its lack of planning behind the move to withdraw old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.
In the session that was attended by prime minister Narendra Modi in the morning today, Singh said the move to demonetise high-value currency notes reflected ‘monumental mismanagement’ and a ‘case of organised loot.’ The former prime minister pilloried the government for putting common people, especially farmers and those in the unorganised sector, in peril.
O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress pleaded with the government to work together to find a solution to the problems of the common people.
“This is not an ego battle, we need to find a solution. It is good that you have come to us after five days. We cannot find a solution with someone with hubris. In all humility, I appeal to the prime minister. People are suffering, please take our suggestions,” said the Trinamool leader.