When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation scheme on November 8, Telugu Desam Party head and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was among first few alliance partners of the ruling NDA who came out in support of the move. But after 40 days of the announcement, Naidu lambasted demonetisation crisis managers saying that the people who were supposed to manage the crisis due to demonetisation are “incapable of doing anything”. He sharply rebuked the RBI saying the central bank has also not been able to do anything.
Naidu’s TDP is one of the more prominent allies of the BJP in the NDA. The Andhra CM is also the head of a 13-member central committee set up to look into demonetisation issue. PM Modi had said that things will become normal in 50 days of the scheme. But the ground reality seems far from what was promised by the government. The troubles for people due to the exercise have not gone away. New orders and regulations come every other day and the country has been left in a state of confusion and desperation. In such a time, even TDP’s Andhra Pradesh has been reeling under the cash crunch.
On November 8, the decision to demonetise 86 percent value of currency in circulation was welcomed with uncertainty by the country. The uncertainty has, over weeks, given way to anger and frustration. PM Modi has been absorbing the criticism coming his way on his decision. Senior leaders from his party and other allies have hailed the decision as “historic” and a “game changer”.
Even Naidu claimed a ‘moral victory’ after the announcement was made. However, now that he and TDP are taking back steps, it seems that not everyone is happy with demonetisation, or at least its management, in the NDA. This puts the NDA on weaker grounds as the PM makes a pitch for maximum shift to less cash economy and end to black money.