The BJP and Congress-led Opposition locked horns on Wednesday, on the first anniversary of demonetisation. While the ruling party is celebrating November 8 as ‘anti-black money day’, several Opposition parties have decided to observe it as a ‘Black Day.’ Several Union ministers and BJP leaders will be highlighting the “benefits” of demonetisation across the country today.
On November 8, 2016, the Narendra Modi-led government had withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from circulation, in a bid to curb corruption and black money.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described demonetisation a as “watershed moment for the Indian economy.” Reacting to former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism of demonetisation, Jaitley said the move was contradictory to the “loot that happened in the second generation spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games and allocation of coal blocks”.
Demonetisation anniversary LIVE updates:
10.30 pm: RJD chief Lalu Prasad attacked the BJP alleging the demonetisation drive helped people convert black money into white with greater ease.
10.00pm: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar too hit out at the Congress party and accused it of “institutionalising” corruption.nTerming it a war between two political cultures, the minister said that under PM Modi’s government, honesty would be rewarded and the dishonest would be punished. “They are supporting black money and we are opposing black money. They institutionalise corruption, whereas we are bringing honesty and transparency in the system. This is a war of two political cultures, and the last three-and-a-half years are testimony to this,” he said.
09.30 pm: Launching a scathing attack on the Congress, Union minister Smriti Irani said that the note ban decision was “definitely a tragedy for the Gandhi family”.”I think that demonetisation is definitely a tragedy for the Gandhi family which is now synonymous with the word corruption,” Irani alleged.
09.00 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hailed the demonetisation move and said VAT collections in the state had increased by 19 per cent post-noteban. Listing out the advantages of the demonetisation drive the chief minister said, “A total of 53,000 new VAT registrations were done in Maharashtra between November 16 and May 2017 when GST was not implemented. This was a huge transition from informal to formal economy, which had never happened before. The VAT collection till October 2016 was Rs 53,222 crore, which was 3.5 per cent less than the target (till that period). Post demonetisation, the VAT collection rose by 19.5 per cent to Rs 90,525 crore (till March 2017). This was an unprecedented increase in VAT collection in Maharashtra.”
08.30 pm: In Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress party organised a candle light procession to pay tribute to
the 105 souls who lost their lives because of note ban. AICC secretary Jay Kumar said, “It is one of the biggest blunders made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
08.00 pm: Union minister Jayant Sinha said demonetisation was a miracle and not a scam as described
by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “In Bengal under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, demonetisation is seen as a scam. I tell her honestly and directly that it is a miracle and is putting India on the path of competitiveness”, Sinha said. He further said that the note ban would bring huge long-term benefits to
the country which would outweigh short-term blips.
07.15 pm: Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said demonetisation was a “historic mistake” which had an adverse impact on the country’s economy. He also alleged that demonetisation put a question mark on the credibility of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its autonomy.
06.45 pm: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi took potshots at the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) over their protest against demonetisation. “Those who are fond of black money, and who have millions, billions of rupees stashed away, are observing Kala Diwas. The BJP’s workers are taking the opportunity to expose this drama and make the people aware”, Modi said.
06.15 pm: Mocking the demonetisation move of the Modi government, the Shiv Sena performed a ‘shradh’ ceremony (post-death rites) of the Centre’s note ban policy on its first anniversary. The Sena workers performed the rites placing offerings before enlarged photos of scrapped Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes at Ramkund, the sacred bathing ghat on Godavari and the main pilgrimage centre of the Kumbh Mela, in Maharashtra’s Nashik district.
06.00 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the Modi government on the first anniversary of demonetisation calling it an “effective action” against black money. In a tweet in Hindi, Kumar wrote, “Demonetisation was an effective action against black money. Attack has now begun on benami properties. Congratulations to the Centre.”
नोटबंदी से काला धन पर प्रभावकारी कार्रवाई हुई है. बेनामी संपत्ति पर भी हमला प्रारंभ हो गया है. इसके लिए केंद्र सरकार को बधाई.
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) November 8, 2017
05.30 pm: The Congress party workers from Ahmaedabad too observed black day on the first anniversary of demonetisation to mark the protest against ill effects of demonetisation in the country.
05.00 pm: Today is a black day only for hoarders and those who support black money. For rest of the country its a day of celebration: Raman SinghChief Minister
04.15 pm: DMK working president M K Stalin slammed the NDA government on implementing demonetisation saying note ban has only brought hardship for the common man. He said, “This day (November 8) has just turned to be a day that brought despair to 125 crore people of the country although they (BJP) promised they will eradicate black money. We got freedom at midnight (in 1947). But, we have lost our freedom at this midnight.”
04.00 pm: Congress party workers protest in Bhopal on the one year anniversary of demonetisation.
— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2017
03.30 pm: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at Manmohan Singh over his criticism of demonetisation, alleging that the former prime minister looked away when “organised plunder” kept happening under his rule. She said, “Actually organised plunder and legalised loot kept happening when he was the Prime Minister. I have nothing but anguish, it is very anguishing…. I am unable to describe him by using strong words that he used (to comment on note ban).”
03.00 pm: Claiming that due to the “stubborn approach” of the Modi government, the country is facing an “Emergency-like situation”, the BSP chief further said, “The decision to implement demonetisation cosmetically appeared to end corruption in the country, but instead the corruption level increased. One after the other, acts of corruption of people linked with the BJP are coming to the fore. Paradise Papers is the latest revelation.”
02.45 pm: BSP Chief Mayawati accused the Modi government of implementing the demonetisation drive in a “hasty” manner and said that the BJP should observe the day as “demonetisation forgiveness day” instead of “anti-black money day”.
02.30 pm: Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the historic move delivered positive results and it was a severe blow to the black money. “The government is serious against the black money and has been taking steps curb it. Demonetisation was one of the crucial decisions against the illegal wealth,”he said.
2.10 pm: “Rahul Gandhi has tweeted against demonetisation by using Nand Lal but Nand Lal has stated on record that he supports Modi Ji,” Ravi Shankar Prasad told ANI. Nand Lal, a former serviceman, became a known face after a photograph of him crying in the queue outside a bank went viral.
1.25 pm: Former union minister and Goa CM Manohar Parrikar said demonetisation has struck a blow to anti-India forces and had empowered the poor. “Through increase in financial inclusion & formalisation of our economy, #Demonetisation empowered the poorest of poor,” Parrikar wrote on Twitter.
1.12 pm: “CBI has registered 77 cases and 7 preliminary inquiries post demonetisation relating to exchange of demonetised currency in various departments or agencies including banks, post offices, railways, insurance companies etc. Amount involved in these cases is around Rs 395.19 crore. During investigation, CBI has so far arrested 21 public servants and 26 private persons out of 307 accused found to be involved in these cases. CBI Director has given top priority to investigation of demonetisation related cases. He has directed various teams investigating cases to complete investigation in a time bound manner,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal was quoted as saying by ANI.
12.42 pm: No joint JD(U)-BJP show on demonetisation anniversary in Bihar. RJD and Congress too have separate programmes.
12.30 pm: Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani flagged off a ‘digital rath’ as part of an initiative to accelerate adoption of cashless payments among merchants in various cities on Wednesday.
12.20 pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor takes to Twitter to register criticise the demonetisation move.
12.00 pm: “As time passed after demonetisation, a different scenario came up, contradicting the initial claims made by the prime minister on November 8 (last year), while announcing the exercise. This was an impulsive decision which hurt the country to no ends,” Chavan told news agency PTI.
11.50 am: Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has demanded a probe by a joint parliamentary committee to ascertain the “real intention” behind the Centre’s demonetisation exercise.
11.40 am: Congress leaders across the country will participate in protests with slogans like “Desh bhugat raha hai” and “India suffers.” Rahul Gandhi has reached Surat to lead a candlelight march in Chowk Bazar area as part of the Opposition parties’ “Black Day” protest.
11.30 am: Congress described the note ban decision as the “biggest scam” and “the largest government-abetted money laundering scheme.” The party has also asked all its state units to organise protests marches to mark the day and strongly highlight the demerits of demonetisation.
11.21 am: “Bhrashtachaar, kaala dhan ko khatm karne ki hamari iccha shakti ne note bandi ko safal banaya. Bharat ko sashakt rashtra banane mein yeh mahatva poorna raha (Our intentions to wipe out corruption and black money made demonetisation successful. This is important to make India an empowered nation),” Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma wrote on Twitter.
10.37 am: BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain wrote on Twitter that while the nation was celebrating anti-black money day, only those “who lost their black money are refusing to acknowledge that #DeMoWins.”
10.35 am: Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani also took to Twitter to thank people for “their trust and continued support” towards demonetisation. She also posted the video which was earlier shared by PM Narendra Modi on “benefits of demonetisation.”
10.30 am: “Biggest achievement is that terrorism has been badly hit and the stone pelters which were in thousands have reduced because their cash flow has been cut,” Sitharaman was quoted as saying by ANI.
10.25 am: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participates in a signature campaign organised by Tamil Nadu BJP Youth Wing.
10.20 am: “On 1st anniversary of #BJPMoneyLaunderingDay, a poisonous smog hangs over Delhi & the Indian economy. But, the Winds of Change are coming,” tweets Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. He also said that thought “newer goalposts” were “being mounted to befool people on #BJPMoneyLaunderingDay, Demonetisation” would remain a “monumental disaster!”
10.15 am: Congress leaders label demonetisation anniversary as “BJP money laundering day”. “If Demonetisation and GST are such a smashing success
@narendramodi then why is the GDP clocking 3.7% at the 2004-05 base year?The worst in 38 years back to 1979 levels. Why is investment by domestic corporates in economy at 1990 levels?” tweets Congress leader Manish Tewari.
10.05 am: “Black money eliminated says Govt. Let the Gujarat election campaign start and you will find the ‘eliminated’ black money,” tweets P Chidambaram.
9.50 am: Former finance minister P Chidambaram said reiterated his stand against demonetisation. “On demonetisation Black Day read real-life stories, say a prayer for the millions who suffered. Can any one deny lives were lost, small businesses closed and jobs were lost?” he wrote on Twitter.
9.20 am: CPIM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the growth figures in India had plummeted due to demonetisation. “Ignore the Spin and PR, this is the harsh reality of #Demonetisation. India’s economic growth has slumped,” he wrote on Twitter with an infographic on GDP growth.
9.05 am: BJP workers in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi celebrate the first anniversary of demonetisation as anti-black money day.
8.55 am: A day earlier, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said the demonetisation move was “organised loot” and “legalised plunder.” Hitting back at Singh, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Singh “seemed to be reading scripts written by someone else, just like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.” “Manmohan Singhji has said that note ban was a dacoity. This is not Manmohan Singhji’s language,” he added. Read more here.
8.45 am: A day earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had accused the Congress of unleashing malicious propaganda on demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and said these measures would lead to major gains in the long run. “This is short term pain for long term gains and these measures would not only bring reforms but have also squeezed terror funding,” he said on Tuesday.
8.32 am: “Demonetisation was a populist measure, done in the name of the poor. But like many revolutions done in the name of the poor, it hurt them by extracting the highest price from them,” Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes in The Indian Express today. Read the full story here.
8.25 am: Following the footsteps of PM Narendra Modi, several BJP leaders, Union ministers and state BJP units took to Twitter to share their thoughts on ‘anti-black money day’. From Suresh Prabhu to Vijay Goel, leaders are celebrating November 8 as anti-black money day.
8.20 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said noteban move was a ‘thoughtless act.’ “Demonetisation was a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives & livelihoods were destroyed by PM’s thoughtless act,” he wrote on Twitter.
8.10 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticises the noteban move. “Demonetisation is a big scam. I repeat, demonetisation is a big scam. If thorough investigation is conducted, this will be proved,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. Contrary to government claims, Mamata alleged that demonetisation was not to combat black money. “It was only to convert black money into white money for vested interests of political party in power. Black money became ‘white fund’ for them,” she said.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 8, 2017
7.35 am: Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Suresh Prabhu and Smriti Irani will speak to the media in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Lucknow respectively, reported news agency PTI.
7.30 am: Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal will address press conferences in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad respectively. Union Minister Jayant Sinha has also been drafted for the exercise, according to sources.