In a jibe at the Modi government, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Monday voiced hope that the new ministers will help it fulfil promises made to the people as it had “failed” to do so till now. Yadav, a critic of demonetisation who was forced to keep mum on the issue after his party chief Nitish Kumar supported it, also claimed that the recent RBI figures and fall in the GDP growth rate had vindicated his stand that November 8, 2016 was a “black day” for India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation on that day. Addressing a press conference, Yadav, however, did not join other opposition leaders in mocking Kumar over non-inclusion of JD(U) members in the Union council of ministers, saying its MPs and MLAs had chosen a path different from him and it is for them to comment on the matter.
He did add that the NDA under Modi was different from the NDA of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani as allies had a big share in the first BJP-led government while they are now like “loose change”. Asked if he would resign from the Rajya Sabha as the JD(U) is working to get his membership annulled, he parried a direct reply, saying he had resigned many times earlier and he had taken a stand different from his party in the nation’s interest. Yadav accused the Modi government of “failure on all fronts”.
“They (BJP) had made a lot of promises to people before 2014 Lok Sabha polls. They talked about bringing back black money, creating two crore jobs annually and so many things. Nothing has happened. I welcome the new ministers and hope they will help the government fulfil a part of its promises in the remaining tenure,” he told reporters.
Yadav, who has sided with opposition parties as Kumar joined hands with the BJP, lashed out at the Union government over demonetisation, calling it a “disaster” which, he alleged, wrecked informal economy and “destroyed” crore of jobs. “Where is the black money? The government had used it as a pretext to announce the note ban. Small farmers dealing in vegetables have been hit hard. So many of them have committed suicide. Small scale industry has been harmed a great deal. Real estate, provider of jobs from small village to big cities, has been crippled,” he alleged.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been vindication as he had warned that the GDP will do down by over 2 per cent and called demonetisation a monumental disaster, Yadav said. “The government’s decision of demonetisation was hurried, immature and done without proper ground work, causing people to bear pain and humiliation. It was a ridiculous decision for the government of such a large democracy to take,” he alleged.