Taking on the government for implementing demonetisation, Congress leaders and workers on Friday held protests across the country on the second anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the withdrawal of high-denomination currency notes and asked Modi to apologise to the nation.
Senior Congress leaders took part in the protest in front of the RBI office in the national capital, while local leaders led party workers at protests in other cities. Addressing the media, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said Modi should apologise to the nation, and that the government should compensate families of those who had died as a result of demonetisation.
He pointed out Modi’s speech on November 8, 2016, when the Prime Minister had said, “…give me full 50 days. I will tell you after demonetisation how Naxalism has ended, terrorism has ended, fake currency has been dealt with, black money has vanished.”
Calling it a “Tughlaqi farmaan” – referring to 14th century Delhi ruler Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s decision to first introduce and subsequently withdraw copper coins, resulting in economic havoc – Gehlot claimed that demonetisation destroyed the economy. “Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is not able to respond to either (former PM) Manmohan Singh or (former Finance minister) P Chidambaram…he has completely failed,” Gehlot claimed.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said the decision to “slash away 86 per cent of currency in circulation” had “tarnished” India’s image abroad.