A political slugfest erupted over demonetisation issue in Rajya Sabha, which dominated the debate on Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
Calling the President’s address a “mere speech of the BJP” and criticising it for “no mention of the death of 130 persons” to “honour the order of the Prime Minister”, Opposition Congress, RJD, DMK and Left parties accused the government of taking the decision to scrap Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 to only “hide their failure in bringing back the promised black money from abroad”.
“This address has made many mountains of molehill,” DMK’s T S Elangovan said, adding that demonetisation was like “burning the house to kill bed bugs”.
Holding that demonetisation had a “catastrophic effect” on employment and industry, nominated MP K T S Tulsi rued that this had no mention in the President’s speech. “This is a tragedy where over a hundred lives have been lost, and no one is sorry,” Tulsi said. “There is no compensation or assurance of employment, because the government doesn’t want to acknowledge that people have died standing in queues.”
Congress MP Viplove Thakur slammed the government for its publicity of the surgical strikes, and accused it of “selling” sacrifices of soldiers. Union minister Prakash Javadekar countered, saying, “You (Congress) have made people queue for gas, milk and before ration shops for the last 50 years. Those who made the nation stand in queue for last 50 years are not talking about queue of 50 days.”
Nominated member and economist Narendra Jadhav said, “One serious objection (raised) is that money has been taken away from the poor. Actually, what has happened, or what is happening, is…redistribution of wealth from the tax-evading wealthy to the poor. This is a Robin Hood kind of a job which the Prime Minister is doing.”